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Design An Album Cover

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a grunge style album cover using various textures and stock images.
First of all you will need to choose a suitable image for your album cover. The photograph I’ve used can be downloaded here.
There are a few issues with noise in this photograph, so first go Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise, and use the settings shown above.
Next we will add add a Levels adjustment layer to boost the contrast. Click on the adjustment layer button shown above, and choose Levels.
In the Levels box use the colour pickers to determine the black, mid-tone, and white areas of the photo.
Right click on the Levels layer then choose Add Clipping Mask to apply the adjustments to this layer only.
The first texture we will add is free to download as a set here.
Once downloaded, place this texture onto your image by going File>Place, and choosing the texture.
Change the texture’s blending mode to Screen and it’s opacity to 60%.
Next we will add some stars which can be found on NASA’s website here.
Place the image over your sky area.
Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and use the colour pickers to strengthen the blacks and whites.
Now add a layer mask to this layer by clicking the button shown above.
With the layer mask selected, mask out the bottom area where the stars aren’t needed using a black brush. Change the blending mode to Screen.
Next we will add a lens flare, so first add a new layer and fill it with black.
Then go Filter>Render>Lens Flare and use the settings shown above. Use the preview box to position the lens flare.
Change the blending mode to Screen.
Now we will add another grungy texture which can be downloaded here.
Place the texture then desaturate it…
…then bring up the contrast a little…
…and change the blending mode to Overlay.
The star brush set used for the logo can be downloaded here.
In a new layer paint a large white star…
..and add a layer mask.
Now we will use our grunge texture again to give some texture to the star. Go Image>Apply Image, then select the grunge layer.
The grunge texture will now be added to the star’s layer mask. Once you have done this, right click on the layer mask and choose Apply layer Mask.
With the layer mask still selected, increase the brightness and contrast.
Now we will add our band name to the star logo. The font used can be downloaded here.
Choose the Text tool to draw a text box…
…and use the settings shown above.
Once you are happy with the positioning of your text you can hide this layer. Now go back to your star layer and add a layer mask.
Go to Apply Image again, and this time choose your text layer to apply.
In the star layer thumbnail, use a paintbrush to fill in any gaps.
Finally create another text box to add your album title.
You can use a more common font like Century Gothic this time, but space apart the letters more using the settings shown above.
Your layers panel should end up looking like this.
And here is the final album cover.
Thanks for reading.