Designing an Album Cover: Getting Started

Posted on 17th April 2020.

Whether you’ve made a whole stack of CDs to promote your band’s album or have some discs for business or personal use, we’ve come up with some simple ideas to help customise your CD or DVD package. At Diskbank, we offer custom printed CD and DVD packaging to suit your requests – simply send us your design and choose from our range of cases! After you’ve decided on the type of packaging for your project, head to our website and download the appropriate artwork template.

Putting together an album cover may not be at the top of everyone’s to-do lists, but can definitely be a fun project and make your product more eye-catching! To get the ball rolling on your design, consider who your main audience is and how you want your brand to be identified. This helps with visualising and creating ideas to go along with the following steps:

Using a Diskbank Artwork Template

Once you’ve selected the template required for your package, start brainstorming about your design and how it will be laid out according to the given dimensions. All information that’s needed for your design is listed next to our templates provided. To assist with any technical issues, we recommend checking out our blog in avoiding design pitfalls. With the basics underway, you’re now ready for the fun part!

Inspiration

Find any old or existing album covers that you like. Pulling in some ideas from these covers can get you started on how you want your cover to communicate to your audience. Think about what you like about certain covers, which features were most appealing and how they affect or relate to your experience with the CD or DVD. The main idea is to create a consistent theme throughout your album!

Colour

The next step is to choose a colour scheme that matches the tone of voice you will be communicating to your audience. Basic colour psychology states that brighter colours tend to evoke positive emotions whilst darker colours are moody and serious – whilst this can also be subjective, opting for monochrome indicates minimalism, straightforward communication and can be played out in both lights. The more colour you add to your scheme, the more visually dynamic your cover may turn out, however, consider using the rules of complementary, analogous and triadic colour schemes to assist in putting together the foundations of your design. An important note is that colour needs to be in CMYK for print – Adobe Color provides a colour wheel to assist in swatch selection; ensure that the mode is set to CMYK at the bottom left of the page.

Style

Think about the imagery you want to portray and the style you would like to use. This could be hand drawn images, a collage, photos, paintings or a range of graphics. Imagery should summarize your brand to create a ‘visual identity’ in the audience’s minds – have you ever heard a song and instantly recalled the artist’s album art? Strong recollection can make your product more memorable and appealing, which is a great way to promote your brand!

Text

You may choose to not have text at all on your album, but it’s also a good idea to have information or some kind of description relating to what is on the CD or DVD – this could be a tracklist, artist or brand information or a blurb. Whatever it may be, choosing the right type of font helps tie in all the elements of your album cover together. With a chosen colour scheme and imagery, your text should follow a complimentary style to these, for example: an album that contains high-energy, electronic music may use a dynamic colour scheme with abstract graphics and bold text. Think of the font you use as having its own personality to convey a message. On a technical note, ensure that your text is outlined and flattened.

With the right planning and ideas drawn from inspiration to go into the beginnings of your design, this simple process is sure to get you on your way to designing an album cover. Now that you’ve created the foundations according to our templates, we’ll make sure your creativity sings out in your custom CD or DVD package! If you need any further help, Diskbank can assist with the design aspect with a charge – all you need is to send us a descriptive brief and any images and fonts that you wish to use. Get in touch with us today to get started or find out more about our services!

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