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CD Packaging: How to Conceptualize a Creative CD Packaging


The CD packaging is mainly used to store and protect CDs and DVDs but it has lots of other functions aside from the obvious. CD packaging can also be used to increase product sales, to define the musician’s image and style, and to convince the consumers to buy the album instead of downloading songs or buying pirated CDs. Without a doubt,, CD packaging plays a very vital role in the music retail industry.

If you are a graphic designer venturing in the CD packaging industry or if you are a musician who wants to do his own CD Packaging, here is a step-by-step guide in conceptualizing CD Packaging.

Get to know the musicians

Before you even start to think of ideas for the CD packaging, you must first get to know the musicians. Do a quick online research about them before you have your first meeting. And during the meeting, casually ask the musicians some questions that could help you define their personality. Ask them about their simple and not-so-simple life philosophies, about their music icons, about their influences. For new musicians, it would be helpful if you ask them straight out on what kind of image they want to portray. Do they want to be the cool psychedelic nerds or the intellectual hippies?

Ask the musicians what they want to see in the CD packaging

Listen to the album and write down adjectives

Some designers really listen through the whole album while thinking of a concept to get the overall feel of it. A simpler way is to ask the musicians of one song that they think defines the personality of the whole album. While brainstorming, listen to it on loop and write down adjectives, movies, pegs, and images that pop on your head. Of course, do not forget to consider the musician’s personality and their concept as well. it is their album after all.

Find pegs of your design

You already have creative ideas in your head about the CD packaging design. But sometimes, it is difficult to articulate our visual ideas succinctly to our clients. The easiest way to express these abstract ideas is by presenting pegs. These are pictures, movies, or sources of inspiration that more or less resembles your concept. Look for at least 5-6 images that represent your idea and present it to your clients

Create at least 3 versions of your design

After you and the client have clearly agreed on a concept, it’s now time to do the actual designs. Make at least 3 variations so you would know what looks best. A simple detail or color change could have a huge impact on the overall CD Packaging design.

Make necessary revisions

After presenting your designs, expect some minor revisions and suggestions from the client. A good communication skill is a must if you are in this industry. The better your communication skills, the less likely you’ll make major revisions. Do not put up with a client who demands too many revisions. If you’ve clearly agreed on a concept beforehand, then both of you should respect that.

It’s ready for reproduction

Once they are happy with the CD Packaging, it is now time to send the design over to their CD manufacturing company for mass reproduction.

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