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CD Packaging for Beginners

Are you a design student about to make your very first CD packaging project? Or are you a band member who decided to do D-I-Y CD packaging for your next album? Then you must already know by now that creating a CD packaging-an attention-grabbing CD packaging-from scratch is not a piece of cake.

We are now more aware that CD packaging has a bigger role than containing and protecting the discs. The product’s packaging can be used as a marketing tool itself.  This is not news. For example, would Fererro Rocher chocolates be as appealing when they are simply placed in a transparent container without the gold foils? I do not think so. Anything that looks aesthetically pleasing instantly has a higher value. Yes, looks do matter and people do sometimes judge a book by its cover.

If this is your first time to make a CD packaging, here are some of the tips that you might find useful:

1. Browse other CD artwork. So you would have an idea of what a good CD packaging and a bad CD packaging is, you have to take a look at many CD artworks. Then, you have to identify what makes certain CD packaging designs better than the others-does it have a good composition? Does it use a unique material? Is the packaging concept integrated in the whole package? Most of all, you have to identify the bad designs and enumerate the reasons why they do not look too pleasing. Do they use tacky font, Is the lay-out awkward, etc.

2. Listen to the CD and write down adjectives, nouns, anything that comes to mind. It is not necessary that the CD packaging design says something about the music and the artist, but it would be a lot better if it does. Most designers I know derive good ideas by listening to the album and writing down anything that pops in their head while they’re listening to the songs. You can also draw a picture or create a movie scene in mind while doing this. Just free your mind and do not be scared to write down your thoughts.

3. Ask the band how they want their CD packaging. The moment the band decided that they want to produce an album, they are also imagining the CD packaging. When the band tapped you for graphic design work, chances are they have already discussed their CD artwork many times. Ask them what they want to see in their album’s CD packaging and you can work around their idea or suggest new ideas. The important thing is that you should know that even if you are the artist, you have to put the client’s ideas into primary consideration. It’s their album after all.

These tips are very basic but I am sure they are very helpful for CD packaging design beginners. I hope this gave you ideas on how to start your own project. Good luck and always try to make something different.


Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.

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