They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what about a CD?
Some album’s artwork has become as memorable as the album itself. Who doesn’t recognize the Rolling Stones’ tongue logo that came out for the first time on their ‘Sticky Fingers’ album? Or The Beatles’ Abbey Road album!
As an artist your CD cover is your calling card to the record industry and to the consumer. As a music artist you should realise the importance of the graphic design stage in preparing your music for the marketplace. A well designed cover, along with other details of information put on the packaging of your CD album or single could be the key to determining whether or not a record label boss even listens to what’s inside. It may as well be what turns off or on your potential customer. Therefor having a good album cover is important.
When designing your CD cover it is important to critique it in a professional manner, suggesting any improvements you think would help make the graphic design an effective introduction of your music to the industry and your fan/customers.
The following are some questions and suggestions to help create an effective CD cover design.
Is the artist name (and logo) clearly visible and distinguishable from the title of release? Consider the art or graphics used. Does it hint to the genera of music?
Consider what information needs to be there; Label name, catalog number, barcode, song titles/ times, contact info, (website URL, email address,) production credits, Producer’s name, etc. Is this information clear and is the text and colours user clear.
Is the artist’s name (logo) present and clearly visible, or is it kept blank for artist reasons. If there are any graphics on the disc, do they match/compliment the CD case?
Decide what sort of booklet you would like, if at all. Then think about what graphics. Is the artwork and design consistent with the rest of the artwork and design of the front and back covers. What additional information do you want to include; photos, more credits, song lyrics, ect.
What specific information is on the spine of the CD?
( Label name/logo, catalog number, artist name, release name)
As an artist you have spent a long time writing, rehearsing, performing, and recording your music. It would be advisable to take some time to consciously consider the information and graphics, however subtle, that go into creating your CD release. Once approved and sent to the a duplication company such as duplication centre it will be too late to correct any second thoughts you may have had.