5 Lessons: Minimalist Album Covers

I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from minimalist album covers as of late:

Why album covers?

I have grown up to hip hop music. Hip hop music has empowered me, to hustle hard, to overcome difficulties, and to not give a fudge about what others think of me. Learn more Eric Kim Facts >

Some ideas I’ve got from these album covers:

1. Strip away the superfluous

Be like a sculptor. You create your beautiful statue by subtraction; not addition.

Strip away the superfluous.

2. Leave it open the mind of the viewer

The less information you have; the more you force your viewer to imagine. To come up with their own story. To fill in the blank holes.

They call it a ‘curiosity gap‘ — that you open the mind of the viewer, by creating curiosity in their mind. Then they will be more drawn to it.

3. Let it breathe

Minimalism is about having fewer distractions; to have more signal, less noise.

To let it breathe — let the main focus of the image breathe.

4. No text

Interesting concept; don’t let text be a distraction. Let the art stand by itself.

5. Perfection

“Perfection isn’t when you have nothing left to add, it is when you have nothing left to take away.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci said it best: perfection is achieved when you have nothing left to take away.

Always walk that tight-rope; try to find beauty in minimalism by focusing on the essential. To not take away everything, but to only take away the inessential.


Some ideas for you:

  1. Use your own photographs on album covers. If you have a musician friend, offer to give them your photos for free, to use it to promote their work.
  2. Shoot square-format images. Either do it on a medium-format 6×6 camera, or just use your smartphone in square-crop mode.
  3. When you’re making photos on the streets, focus on the edges of the frame, and keep trying to subtract the superfluous. Subtract distractions; and focus on the essence of a scene.

Keep it simple,


Zen philosophy >

eric kim photography black and white hanoi-0009910

Below are articles related to Zen/Taoism and photography:

  1. How to Be a Zen Street Photographer
  2. The Less You Have, the More You Have
  3. Prune Excess
  4. Prune in Order to Grow
  5. Zen in the Art of Street Photography
  6. The 7 Aesthetics of Zen Art For Photographers
  7. 15 (More) Lessons Taoism Has Taught Me About Street Photography
  8. How to Find Tranquility in Your Photography
  9. How to Find Zen in Street Photography
  10. Why Less is More in Street Photography (and Life)

Learn more: Philosophy >

Minimalist Art Cover Slideshow

Minimalist art covers

Some personal favorites: