If you’re a musician, you understand the importance of an album cover. It’s the only way of showcasing what your album is about, its theme, and your approach. That makes it extremely important to get it right, and for that, you need to know about the ideal album cover size.
Album cover size can vary, depending on where you want to upload your album. However, one should try to publish their music on different sites and places to maximize engagement.
As long as your album cover resonates with you as a musician, gives a unique glimpse into your music, and generates a positive impression, you’re good to go.
In this article, we’ll go over the recommended album cover size on different platforms, so you only have to worry about designing your ideal album cover.
Let’s dive right in.
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What’s the Recommended Album Cover Size?
The album cover size dimensions are different on most platforms. There is no universal size that works for all sites. The reason it’s different on all platforms is that each site and app has its own image requirements, user interfaces, and limits.
While some platforms try to follow a general outline for such requirements, others have their own rules.
Initially, sites tried to go with the size of typical CD covers. That’s why we usually see perfect square album cover art. Furthermore, that’s why you’ll also see a lot of templates for album art following the 1:1 aspect ratio.
However, with the launch of platforms like iTunes, TuneCore, CD Baby, and SoundCloud, the universal album cover size has been changing.
To get you up to date with all the album cover size requirements, here are the dimensions for the top five platforms:
1. Spotify Album Cover Size
The recommended Spotify cover art size is 1600 x 1600 pixels. Furthermore, the ideal aspect ratio 1:1, making it a perfect square.
Other than that, you should keep the following requirements in mind when uploading your Spotify album cover:
- The maximum file size limit for your image is 4MB.
- You can only upload the image in a handful of file formats, including JPG, PNG, and TIFF.
- The cover art should be encoded with sRGB color space at approximately 24 bits per pixel.
Keep in mind that Spotify does not support any cover art that has orientation metadata.
Furthermore, the minimum size for your Spotify album cover you can go for is 1500 x 1500 pixels.
Additionally, if you want to add a playlist cover, the recommended Spotify playlist cover size is 300 x 300 pixels with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
2. SoundCloud Album Cover Size
The recommended SoundCloud album cover art size is 800 x 800 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 1:1 – a perfect square.
Other than that, you should keep the following requirements in mind when you upload your SoundCloud album cover art:
- The maximum file size limit for your image is 2MB.
- Compared to other platforms, SoundCloud only allows two file formats, including JPEG and PNG.
- While this isn’t a requirement, SoundCloud asks users to use high-quality images to ensure there are no issues if they’re resized for different devices.
The album artwork on SoundCloud is usually designed according to CD covers. That’s why there is also an image resolution requirement of 300 DPI. That ensures that if someone prints the album cover design, it retains its high quality.
If you’re setting up your SoundCloud profile, you should also keep the ideal SoundCloud banner size and SoundCloud profile picture size in mind. It will help you make sure that your profile is properly personalized and that all your images are clear and visible.
3. Amazon on Demand Store Album Cover Size
The recommended Amazon on Demand store album cover size is 1600 x 1600 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 1:1.
Since these album covers are designed to be printable, they can only be PNG or JPG file formats. Ideally, the file size can be as much as needed, but Amazon requirements put the maximum size at 10MB.
Moreover, you should follow the CMYK color mode when designing this particular cover image. RGB color mode works too, but it won’t have the best results when printed as a cover, sticker, or any other medium.
If you’re unsure about color modes, discuss them with your graphic designer. You can easily change color modes on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
4. iTunes Album Cover Size
The recommended iTunes album cover size is 3000 x 3000 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 1:1. The perfect square aspect ratio ensures there’s no stretching or pixelation if you resize the image.
Additionally, you should keep the following requirements in mind when uploading your iTunes album cover:
- The minimum album cover size is 1600 x 1600 pixels.
- For the image resolution, the recommended value is 300DPI, but you can go as low as 72 DPI.
- The highest-quality RGB color mode is mandatory, even with black and white and monochrome images.
- The acceptable file formats include JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and GIF.
Furthermore, Apple has some content guidelines that prohibit explicit content (such as nudity or extreme violence) on the album cover. If you don’t follow the guidelines for your album cover, album title, or even in your artist name, Apple has the right to stop your album release and remove it altogether.
Most streaming services have strict guidelines, but if you don’t follow Apple’s guidelines, there’s a good chance you’ll be banned for life.
5. Podcast Album Cover Size
The recommended podcast album cover size is 3000 x 3000 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 1:1.
Other than that, the minimum size you can go for is 1400 x 1400 pixels, but the aspect ratio should remain the same. Furthermore, the minimum image resolution is 72 DPI, but you should aim for 300 DPI.
Most sites and platforms only support two file formats for podcast album covers: JPEG and PNG.
If it’s a new release podcast, it’s advisable that you not add the release date to the album cover. However, if it’s an established podcast, you should focus more on the design elements. You can check out this complete guide on how to create great podcast cover art.
Keep in mind that if you’re uploading your podcast on iTunes or Spotify, you have to adhere to their album cover size requirements. However, the good thing is that all you have to do is resize your image because all of them have the same aspect ratio requirement of 1:1 – a perfect square.
Tips for Creating a Great Album Cover
Knowing the right album cover size dimensions is one thing, but you also need to know how to design your cover art. While the inspiration for your design can come from anywhere, you need to keep a few things in mind to make sure you can bring your idea to fruition.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your album cover art:
- Your cover art should be completely unique; it’s best to avoid similarities between different albums too.
- Make sure your cover art resonates with your brand. That means you’ll have to set your font, imagery, colors, and elements accordingly. For example, if you’re releasing electronic music, you’re better off using futuristic fonts rather than vintage fonts.
- Avoid putting in any links, such as your social media links, website link, or any other URL.
- Your album cover art will eventually become a thumbnail, so make sure you design it accordingly.
- It’s not absolutely necessary to include the album title and artist name on the cover. Therefore, you shouldn’t be thinking of it as an important factor when making the design.
- Traditionally, album covers with more personalization such as faces, tend to get more attention.
- It’s much better to focus on a minimalist design.
- Never include things like pricing or promos on the cover.
- Use RGB color modes for the best quality on all fronts, including print.
- Most importantly, make sure you follow the recommended album cover size.
Keeping these tips in mind, you can move on to actually designing your album cover art.
Designing Your Album Cover Using Pixelied
While creating your album cover seems like the graphic designer’s job, you can do it yourself too. You can do it by using Pixelied’s user-friendly editor. The best thing about Pixelied is that you don’t have to worry about the album cover size because you can set up your canvas accordingly.
Here’s how you can design your next album cover on Pixelied. We will be using the podcast cover art template in the example:
Step One – Open Pixelied’s Editor
As you can see on the top, the canvas is already set to the appropriate podcast album cover size dimensions at 3000 x 3000 pixels. This way, you don’t have to worry about the dimensions, aspect ratio, or any other requirements.
Step Two – Select a Podcast Cover Art Template
Once you have your canvas ready, on the left panel, you’ll see podcast cover art templates. These templates are predesigned based on different categories, design elements, and markets.
You can choose any template from the list and start editing it according to your needs. If you want a specific template, search for it in the search bar above.
Step Three – Edit Your Album Cover Using Different Design Elements
After you’ve chosen a podcast cover art template, you can start customizing it according to your needs. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the following customization options:
Here’s a complete list of options you have:
- Images – include various stock photos from around the internet, and you can also upload your own.
- Text – is for adding multiple text boxes on your cover art.
- Illustrations – are for people who want to add custom vectors and illustrations.
- Mockups – give you an idea of how your cover art would look like on different devices.
- Brandify – is for people who have uploaded their brand assets; they can quickly access those assets from here.
- Elements – include various stickers, shapes, and other small assets.
- Icons – include social media icons, website icons, and more.
- Blend – is for mixing colors and palettes to develop custom gradients.
On top of your canvas, you’ll also find options to control opacity, shadows, borders, and various other elements.
Step Four – Download Your New Album Cover
After you’re done with your design, download your new podcast cover art by clicking the Download button in the top right corner of the editor.
You can choose what format you want to download the picture in, but for album covers, you should choose between JPG or PNG.
You can also set the quality, but it’s best to keep it at 100. The size option lets you resize your image but it’s best to keep it at 1x.
When you’re done, click on the Download button at the bottom and you’ll have your new podcast cover art.
You can figure out the pricing, outreach, and marketing of your album later. But first, you have to figure out what your album cover would actually look like. That’s because the album cover makes a huge impact on your listeners.
Designing your album cover has become much easier, especially with platforms like Pixelied that automatically adjust the recommended album cover size for you.
However, you still need to figure out what you’re going to design. You can always check out some album cover ideas to get some inspiration. Once you have an idea of the design and the album cover size, go on to design your next album cover art masterpiece.