We've come across a new iOS app recently which may be of interest to musicians in need of a bit of help with creating artwork for online releases (as well as those who are short of cash for hiring a designer). It's called 'TAD' - short for 'Thumbnail Art Design' - and in a nutshell, it allows you to use your smartphone to create a cover, quickly and easily, for a digital release.
Aimed at 'time poor musicians who aren't designers', it allows users to add text and other art elements to a picture of their band (or something else) and create release artwork within minutes. Filters are available for the images, as are sleeve templates based on classic sleeve designs. You can export the finished artwork in various resolutions, including 3000 x 3000 pixels (making it suitable for use with iTunes, Beatport and Spotify).
The best way to get a sense of what the app does is to watch the below video, which gives a simple demonstration of what it does. You can also find out more about the app on the official TAD website.
Ultimately TAD is a nifty little app which I can see a lot of musicians using on the bus to band practice. It's not really suitable for creating printed artwork and as such won't entirely replace the need for a graphic designer any time soon, but it definitely has its uses - even if only for playing around with ideas for sleeves. Certainly bands who only ever release music digitally will find it a very useful tool.
The app can currently be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free until 14 December, after which you can buy it for $1.99.