Getting the right look for your CD can be a real challenge. You want your product to look good and yet still appeal to the right consumer-group. There are several different roads you can take to get your artwork designed, and by covering them in this articles, I hope to help you make up your mind which one is most suited to your needs.
Perhaps the highest quality design will come from hiring a professional designer to do the job for you. It’s their livelihood so they’re sure to know what they are doing and will probably have much better software at their disposal to do it with than you will. The design they come out with will be exactly what you ask for and they can work to a certain time-scale. However, hiring a professional is perhaps not the most cost-effective way to get your CD artwork designed as they do charge for the hours they work on your design. However, if you do want one it can save you a lot of your own time and they are not difficult to find: Simply search in the ‘Yellow Pages’ or on an internet search engine.
The next option is to use an online or downloadable artwork creator. My favourite is the Artwork Creator designed by Duplication Centre. It’s very easy to use but still offers you many options for editing your image, without having to spend a lot of time learning how to use new software. Of course, if you have a program such as ‘Photoshop’ you could always use that.
Though it can be very time consuming to design your CD artwork yourself, if you do decide to take this route, you then have the question of where to get the images you use in your artwork from. You can take the photos yourself but be warned that unless photography is a hobby of yours, it can be difficult to get high-quality results. So you could get them professionally taken, but remember that this costs a lot of money. If you want a cost effective, fast way to acquire photos without having to take them yourself, you can always set up an iStockphoto account. iStockphoto is a website designed to let you browse through literally thousands of photographs and buy them to use on your products royalty free.
I hope that these ideas help you to decide how best to design your CD artwork to the high quality you would expect and in the time frame you need!