While it isn’t specifically noted in the posting guidelines, AlbumArtExchange is a collection of album covers officially released by record labels and independent recording artists. The covers in the gallery are not fantasy creations nor tributes made by fans.
However, there are a few blogs online that feature such album covers. Covermania and Coverlandia are two of the most popular. Both blogs also post official album art, although often smaller than the 600 x 600 size that is preferred on AlbumArtExchange.
Some of the fan-made covers are quite good and obviously created by people with professional graphic design skills. However, they can pose a problem when they are assumed to be official covers. It is very likely that some of these fan-made covers could be added to AblumArtExchange’s collection as official covers.
Here are a couple of recent examples of fan-made covers posted to Covermania and Coverlandia:
As you can see, the quality of both covers is professional. The first example displays the Disney logo and could easily be assumed to be an official Disney album cover. The second example is also excellent quality. The photo and the typography are consitent with what the artist’s label produces. However, the second cover displays the mark of the person who created it in the lower right corner. Unfortunately, very few who make fan-made covers add an indication that the cover is not official.
The easiest way to check whether or not an album cover is official is to look it up on Amazon.com or iTunes. If you’re still in doubt, Wikipedia often displays official album covers for CDs.