We all know the important role mixtapes play in the Hip Hop Community now-a-days. From the Gangsta Grillz volumes to the Dedication…mixtapes are here to stay. But what about the outside of the mixtape?…You know, the cover? How much of a role does that play? I would say it plays a very important role. It almost sets the tone for what the mixtape will sound like.
We have all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But unfortunately, we do. It’s the same with your mixtape cover. It needs to be thought out and reflect you and what your mixtape is about. I personally think that G-Unit and Gucci Mane’s mixtape covers are sick! They are well thought out and well put together. They are colorful and have that “cartoonish” look we have all grown to like. So how can you get your cover looking like the Big Boys?
Well, you need to get with a graphic designer. They are everywhere! And I would make sure that they are familiar with designing mixtape covers. Because it is more than just slapping text on an image. (You will see why next). In picking a designer, he/she should be good a blending. I hate seeing a bunch of Photoshopped layers just put together. I would recommend GrahamPhisher.com to learn how to blend. His techniques are easy to learn and he shows you how to put an image of yourself over a stock image and make it look real.
Next, you need to have a pretty good idea of what you want, and having the right designer will make this process easier. For example, say you want a more “High Definition” look, the designer will know he needs to play around with HDR or Luci Art plugin. (This will give your image a more professional look like in Gucci’s mixtapes).
I am not giving you step by step instructions. I am not a designer, although I know the drill. But this is what is important. The cover is the first thing that people see, it gives them a first impression. If you saw a cover that looked like it had been done in Microsoft Paint, how would you perceive it? Probably not that good. That’s why having a good idea of what you want and teaming up with the right designer is important.
You might have to sink some money into getting the artwork done. Don’t be cheap on the artwork. Pay, and get it done right! Because that is what separates the Indies from the Big Boys!