01 Dec 2015

Create Eye-Catching Album Artwork With TAD


We spoke with Lee Jones, the creator of a new App called TAD (Thumbnail Art Design), to get his insights on cover art and tell us a bit about his new App.


Artwork can often make or break a release. Think about iconic album covers like those of Pink Floyd or Blondie, and then look at some of the worst album covers such as Bloody Beetroots’ 'Romborama'. It can be said that although you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can almost always judge an album by its cover.


Lee Jones, the co-founder and creator of TAD, wanted to solve a problem that hoards of musicians have; how can one easily create an appropriate cover art for their musical masterpiece?


How important do you think artwork is to an artists’ release and why?

It's so important, especially in the digital age. Seeing a great or a poor thumbnail image from a new artist can be the difference between a potential new fan clicking the play button or not.


I’ve had a little play around with TAD and have found it incredibly intuitive and easy to use. What made you decide to create an App like this?

I came up with the idea one day when I was uploading a new track online. I searched for an app that did this to make my own life easier, and I couldn't believe there wasn't one. All I wanted to do was have a band photo, logo and some text in a square!


It seems like such an obvious idea, so why do you think no one has created an App like this previously?

That's a really good question. I'm sure others in the industry must have had the same idea, but I must have just been the first one to follow it through! I think generally musicians are so involved in making music (and working a full-time job usually) that taking something else on is a bit overwhelming. I was lucky that I had a friend of a friend who is an app developer (those 2 are now my partners in TAD!). It hasn't been easy juggling everything but it's been a hell of a ride.


You’re a musician yourself, how would TAD have helped you when putting together your album? Who else may benefit from this App?

It would have been great to have over the last few years definitely, because as an artist you have a vision in your head and sometimes it's hard to convey that to someone else. Even though TAD is built for musicians, because it's so simple to use I find myself using it for other fun stuff too, to make silly memes or promo stuff for Instagram & Facebook etc. I had a friend over holidaying in Oz and was just taking pictures of him and importing .png files of Australian animals from Google and putting them on the photos using TAD, which was really daft but his Facebook friends back in England thought they were real! Haha. Once you get deep into it there's a whole world of possibilities, so I can foresee (hopefully) other people getting some good use out of it.


What is your all time favourite album cover and why?

I'll have to go with The Clash 'London Calling' obviously it has that great iconic photo of Paul Simonon smashing up his bass guitar but I really like the simplicity in the layout too. The fonts and everything look a little dated now but that kind of adds to the charm. It helps that it's an amazing record too!


TAD is available on iPhone and iPad from the App Store for free from December 1st until the 14th.


Watch the video here