As a jazz critic I get a TON of CDs. Many of these have great cover art, but many of them are pretty lacking in that department. Everybody knows how important first impressions are, and the first thing people notice about your album is the art (assuming it’s a hard copy and not digital). If you’re in the process of making and releasing a record I’d suggest taking a look at my flowchart below (Note: this is only relevant to those who will be appearing on their cover). I hope that this chart will help you avoid some of the common cover art pitfalls that many musicians succumb to. As a saxophonist who hopes to make a record some day I plan on following my own advice, and as such you will never see me shirtless leaning over a set of vibes a la Roy Ayers, nor will you see a huge close up of my face that dominates the cover a la Dick Oatts. I will never be greased up and hairy like Herbie Mann and you will never see my armpits. I hope none of you plan on doing any of those either.