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Elements of a Kick-Ass CD Packaging

It Serves its Primary Purpose. Before you try to make your CD packaging interesting, make sure it keeps the discs safe from liquids, dust, and pressure. This means, the case should be sturdy and easy-to-open, among other things. Also make sure that the CDs won’t fall off once the CD packaging is opened. There are so many good-looking packaging that are too flimsy or has materials that begin to rot after a year or two. Try to avoid those CD packaging disasters. Remember: A CD case should still be a CD case. Functionality is a pre-requisite of beauty as far as packaging is concerned.

It Has Multi-sensory Appeal.  Aside from the artwork which is obviously visual, try to stimulate the other senses like touch (textured paper, perhaps?), smell( Katy Perry’s cotton-candy scented CD ), or even taste (Flaming Lips’ Gummy Skull and Chocolate Heart ). A simple add-on can make your CD extraordinary.

The Copy is Aligned to Your Image. Your fans should instantly identify your personality when they read the copy of your CD packaging. It should be as if they could hear your voice and see your facial expressions when they read your bios and thank yous. That’s very important if you want to establish your “brand.”

It Comes with a Freebie or Two. You don’t have to give them expensive stuff, a free download or a sticker or a temp tattoo or a custom guitar pick will make any fan happy. Here are awesome custom merch that are less than a dollar.

It has Entertainment Value. Your music alone is technically entertainment but we’re talking about the CD packaging here. If you really want to make your fans happy with your CD, make sure they’re going to enjoy the CD packaging. They’d thank you if they’re stuck in traffic or in a dull conversation. To give you a clearer idea of what we’re talking about, check out these  highly entertaining album cover designs.


James Hill is the CEO and owner of Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/merch company based in Los Angeles, CA. He’s a former consultant at Buzzafide and the VP of Live Unsigned. For more music branding and marketing related tips, visit Unified Manufacturing’s blog.

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