Meet The Dodds Sisters, Queens of CD Package Design
Shauna and Sarah Dodds, the creatively inclined badass sisters from central Texas whose focus is on roots music, have been nominated for Grammy Awards in four of the last five years.
They joined forces in 2004 to form Backstage Design Studio. Concentrating their early efforts on design for the Texas Music Industry, they’ve grown their business to cross all genres of design for all manner of business, and have developed a formidable portfolio to rival that of veteran design groups.
This year they’re once again attending the Grammy’s for their work with country rock band Reckless Kelly for the album “Sunset Motel.”
Here are some of the CD packages they’ve created that gathered accolades:
“We feel like if we’re going to do it, you gotta make it something that the fans are going to be interested in,” says Shauna on the phone from Austin, Texas, where she and her sister’s Backstage Design studios have become an Americana powerhouse.
In 2016, vinyl LP sales rose for the 11th straight year, surpassing sales of 13 million units. That’s still only about 6.5% of total album sales, but that’s still money that can help sustain artists in an industry that calculates royalties by fractions of cents.
As a result, artists are investing in packaging as a lure for fans. With devotees willing to spend $20 or more for albums they can stream for free online, musicians are increasingly teaming with designers such as the Dodds to craft fancy packages that reward attention. A side effect: compact disc packages are becoming more of an afterthought.
They’ve designed packages for artists including Kris Kristofferson, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Guy Clark and dozens of others.
Last year they won a recording package Grammy for their work (along with Dick Reeves) on Asleep at the Wheel’s “Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.” In 2014 they earned their first Grammy for their design of Reckless Kelly’s “Long Night Moon.”
“Printed packaging, it’s a dying art, to some extent,” says Shauna Dodds. She stresses, however that she thinks there will always be a market.
“Maybe it all switches to vinyl,” she says. “That’s fine. Or maybe it’s all just collector’s editions. But if you’re not giving them something extra, they might as well just download it on iTunes or — even worse — just buy one song. If you’re going to invest the money in the printing and all that, let’s do something special.”
via LA Times
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