TAD the app – low budget album design

Icon-TADTAD, short for Thumbnail Art Design, is a low cost app for iPhone and iPad, created to make it simple for artists on a budget to produce their own album or single cover art without engaging a designer. Anyone who has recorded a self-produced project knows that art design looks like it would be simple, but unless you have some training and some costly software, it can be a high hurdle to jump.

This $1.99 app for iOS devices allows non-designers to use logos or photos on your device to make a simple design, using a variety of fonts and colors. Additional in-app purchases can be made to add other objects, shapes and design elements to your art. Even maxed out, the app and add-on elements will cost just over $15.

Just a bit of experimentation is all that’s required to get started making your own design, as you can see in the demonstration video below.


The London-based app developers, Apps For Musicians, won’t promise that covers created with TAD will win design awards, but it will surely save you time and money getting your project completed. Lee Jones, who created the app, tells us that he started his company after running into the time and cost factors of album design in his own career as an independent artist.

“It’s a really quick and easy way to get great artwork. A lot of musicians struggle with getting the artwork up to standard for their releases, usually due to time and financial constraints (I know this to be true because I am one of them!)”

Find the app in iTunes or the Apple app store. For a limited time, the basic app is being offered for free, though add-on packages are sold for $1.99 each.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.