The cover art is one of the most common reasons to not have the uploaded product accepted from the start. Let's go through the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Quality (blurry or pixelated artwork)
Images must not be blurry or pixelated. There can't be any quality issues like misalignments, cropped or rotated images, or have other quality issues. Cropped artwork usually means that rectangles have been added to an image to add to its size. A rotated image means when it is on its side for example (like a vertical horizon).
You must have permission to use an image if it is not made by you. Be careful using random images from the internet but if you do, make sure they are either free to use or get permission from the copyright owner.
Don't use other famous artists on the artwork as that can be seen as misleading and people would assume that the famous artist used, would appear on the album.
Good quality and always have the rights to the image.
Text on the artwork
The only text allowed on the cover is text also included on the release. That is basically only the artist and collaborators, title and label. Also, the spelling must be the same. So, if you include the artist name and name of the release on the artwork these must match exactly with what it says on the release, spelling and otherwise.
If you write a featured artist on the cover, it must be clear who the feature and who the primary is.
Please don't credit any program used (Made with Album Art or TAD) as that will be seen as advertising. It can't become an advertisement and there are no websites allowed. If you really want to, you can mention the creator of the artwork (for example "designed by ...").
The simple rule is to not put too much info on the album cover.
The cover art needs to be a perfect square of at least 3000x3000 pixels and max 6000x6000 pixels, in .png or .jpeg (not .tiff) and in good quality.
What the artwork may NOT include:
No websites or social media handles.
No references to physical packaging like a CD logo, nor to a digital product.
No brands nor advertising.
No images from other copyright holders are allowed without written permission.
No year nor dates.
No store names nor special offers.
No tilted or cropped images.
Pay attention to the quality of your picture - your song really deserves to be marketed together with a high-resolution picture. The more pixels the better and an absolute minimum is 3000 x 3000 pixels.
Cover art is still an important part of presenting yourself as an artist even though it has changed over the years from the fold-out vinyl to the small digital icon of today. Take some time and think about how you want to portray yourself as an artist. Match the art with the kind of music you’re delivering.
There are plenty of good websites for making your own professional looking artwork and you'll find them if searching for "make album art".
The cover art is important - go the extra mile! It matters!