Nowadays, everyone listens to music and buying a CD has become a common thing (we are talking about original CDs, not those that have illegally copied content). Given the multitude of CDs that exist on the specialized market, it is only normal that one is at loss when it comes to making a choice. The advertising industry has given a lot of attention to the way CDs are presented but we have to keep in mind that humans cannot be 100% manipulated. Buyers are however fascinated by the CD covers, associating them with the melodies recorded on the disks. Surely, there are also other factors in the final decision of buying a CD, some of them more important than the visual aspect but this should never be neglected. As a result, the marketers observed that the visual attraction is important and asked designers to create awesome works that will be placed on the CDs. Nowadays, such a practice has become common and designers “fight” for the attention of the potential customers.
In these conditions, the making of a CD cover is a very challenging task but the result may represent a huge recognition, the base of future interesting and well-paid projects. The good news is that here the limitations are almost inexistent and the creativity is free. Creative designers like these kinds of works and the results are amazing; you may check the CD covers at the end of the article that serve as a source of inspiration.
First of all, any CD cover creator must know that the standard dimensions are 12x 12 cm (4.75x 4.75 inches) but there is a small problem regarding the margins. The idea is simple: any prototype of CD cover must take into account that the margins may be folded, bad cut or improper handled and the “bleed area” is created, a 1/8 inch surface that is also useful in presenting a coherent message. A white margin is definitely a sign of amateurism hence try to avoid it by all means. Definitely, it’s wrong to consider that the front cover is important and the back one may be easily neglected but, once the potential buyers usually see the front image, it is better to focus more on it. Apparently not important, the spine of a CD cover play its role and must have a nice design too; I strongly recommend using normal fonts and putting the name of the songs there and few words about the singer/formation.
Anyway, each project has its own particularities and once creativity is the single limitation, everything is possible. Here I propose some basic tips that must be considered when designing a CD cover. I must warn you that you can easily find good programs that allow the creation of the CD covers on the Internet; the problems of “bleeding area” are solved but undoubtedly, nothing can be compared with the countless opportunities offered by the Adobe products
1. Make a CD cover accordingly to the style of the owner
[Image Via innovativebliss.deviantart.com]
This is the most important tip and no one should neglect it. The power of example is the best: please study the CD covers from below and you will see that each one is created accordingly to the style of the owner. It’s hard to imagine that the association between a heavy rock metal formation and a warm cover, with some nice floral arrangement and a Jokerman font. When designing a CD cover you must be aware that any lack of inspiration or any mistake may represent a decline of the CD’s sales and this means a pretty important amount of money.
2. Make a strong research before you start working
[Image Via stock.xchng]
As I previously emphasized, there must be a correlation between the owner and the design of the project; in order to be sure about your final result, it is better to perform a complete research. It should be based on the study of the CD images used on past albums, the study of the “competitors” and the search for particularities of the current task. It depends on the experience of each one, but it’s a step too decisive to forget.
3. Put the “WOW” effect in your work
[Image Via aliasbdi.deviantart.com]
It’s so easy to say to create something original, but only few people really can do that. No one is the owner of the recipe of the perfect CD cover but to be really successful is a must that this is original and eye-catching. What you create is something that must attract the eyes of the buyers, a plain and boring format makes them run away. Much more, your project must transmit a message that must be similar to the ones of the songs. It’s not useless to listen to the pieces from the CD before creating the cover, it’s a mandatory step.
4. Pay attention to the font used
[Image Via stock.xchng]
An original design surely is a strong point of a CD cover but you should never neglect the level of usefulness; can the potential buyers read the text easily? In case the answer is no, then you should definitely fine-tune it in order to improve the readability of the fonts. Put yourself in the posture of the buyer, will you buy something that you don’t know anything about? I don’t think so…
5. Ask for the opinion of many people
[Image Via themastergerbil.deviantart.com]
This step requires an extended deadline, but it is beneficial to all. A project, created by the best designer ever seen, may not be very well appreciated by ordinary people. Also, the eyes and the mentality of a specialized designer are different from someone who doesn’t have a solid background in the field.
Anyway, the idea is to prospect your market before releasing the product, it’s not enough to ask for the opinion of the specialists or of the friends. Across time you will gain experience and probably you will “feel” the expectations of the public but until reaching this point….
Finally, I propose you to get inspiration from the great list from below; enjoy these and let me know which is your favorite.
Daniel Pintilie works for increase conversion rate Company Invesp and enjoys writing on landing pages and affiliate marketing.