Designing a CD Cover

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Hollso, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Hollso

    Hollso Member

    Hey everyone. Clifton and Lightcliffe is in the process of releasing a new CD entitled The Rise of the Phoenix, featuring the new signiture piece of the same name by Darrol Barry.

    I volunteered to produce the artwork for the CD cover, and have been fettling about with ideas for a while. Now I gotta get to work! Tell me what you think!

    Hey guys, thought I'd show some ideas from the CD cover I'm doing for my brass band, the title being The Rise of the Phoenix.

    1. Oekaki (a java-based web art program) doodles, cooking up colour schemes and character/critter designs, like musical tails, trying to make it less of a chicken.


    2. Chuck together some cover design. The band's colours are mostly blue, so I try some blue or black backgrounds, moving away from purple (which is the other band from Brighouse's colour)


    Here, I tried a darker C&L blue, and it seems ok, but black might bring out more of the many shineys and sparkleys I plan to add. And flaming music tails of doom.
    Picture below, then, before I go on all night. No text at the mo, apart from my scribble. I was thinking of Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band at the top, then The Rise of the Phoenix at the bottom in bigish orange words, with a font like Baskerville Old Face, or Bell MT (if you have the capacity to look those up.) Basically a skinny serif'd Times New Roman type thing, but not so boring.
    I might make the background darker there, to bring out all the shineys and sparkleys I plan to add.
    I'm thinking of going for a black background, but I'm worried that the black and yellows and reds would look like that band from Queensbury... then again, it might be a good statement (Most of the CD covers from them are... naff. Word Art Galore!)

    Have many of you done CD covers before? Tell me what you think :)
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Nice job :clap:

    One word of caution, though. Make sure you talk to your repro house about your palette choice and how they're going to print your paper parts....sometimes things don't come out of their process quite how you're expecting....apologies if you already know that ;)
  3. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Oh, one more thing (which, again, you may already know!) - if the paper parts are being printed by the same people that are making your CDs make sure you use the correct templates.....they can differ slightly depending on the factory.
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    Some really nice work here and good on you for volunteering. :tup

    I'm hopeless at art and design, but I'll try and offer an opinion on what I see. As I say, I am no artist, so please don't be offended. :)

    The first, I think the phoenix is a little too "in you face". This is not a criticism on the artwork of the phoenix, but as a CD cover, it's very much the central, forefront figure and any text could appear secondary.

    The second, better, although I'd be interested to see this without the "frame" colour, or with a change of colour to the background of the third? . Again, (and I know the Phoenix IS the title), it is a little dominant. There's little space left to fit quite a long band name and the CD name.

    The third. Looks like this could be my favourite. I think the colours work well and wouldn't be tempted to change this to black. Would be interested to see this again when you've added those sparkly extras. :tup
  5. winterman

    winterman Member

    Yeah looking good.. Particularly like the construct of the bottom one!

    Can thoroughly agree with Keith's comment.. having taken some CD's from Home production (with surprisingly good shop-like results) to sending them off to a bulk printer and having to spend lots of time converting it between formats and templates it's definitely a good idea to check before you get too far..
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's this one I'd probably be the most careful of from the printing point of view, due to the already fairly large expanses of 'dark'...

    I do like the design, though, but I'd check to make sure it's going to come out the way you expect.
  7. Hollso

    Hollso Member

    Thanks folks.
    I havent been able to get in touch with the CD makers (Doyen) about the size of the image they may want, dpi and the such, and therefore the reprographics and the printing. I hope it's not too complicated. If need be, what I produce might not have actual text, or something. I may also be part of the inside covers (in black and white I think)
    But thanks for that advice, looks like theres a wee bit more to this than I first thought. I know a little bit about the printing process, but you've reminded me to check even more things out.

    Those first two pictures are just designs for the phoenix character, and are not ideas for the CD cover. I thought that was clear from what I typed, but this is the third forum that didn't get that hint.

    I'll have talks to the band boss tonight, then get in touch with Doyen and see whats what.

    Thanks again, guys, I'll keep you up to date, possibly with some progress shots
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Should've used me then, then I'd have given you the templates ;)

    Seriously, though, ask them what format they're expecting you to supply the artwork in. It could just be they're expecting something like a cover art jpg or something.

    Another cautionary word here if that's the case - sometimes adding text in something like Photoshop causes nasty little artifacts that can be avoided if the design is done in other software....searching my somewhat hazy memory, it has something to do with the way it's rasterized....but I've got to admit I don't design our covers - I've got people other to do that....

    If they're expecting press pdfs, don't forget to embed your fonts ;-)
  9. matt_BBb_bass

    matt_BBb_bass Member

    There really good!!! i designed a CD cover for my GCSE D.T took me ages but i got there! Your designs are amazing!
  10. Hollso

    Hollso Member

    Hi everyone, thanks for your feed back and ideas. The CD cover was finished a while ago; Doyen just wanted a Jpg of it. I really really hope it comes out brilliant, otherwise I'll be annoyed, and my 3000x3000pxl big picture will go to waste. You can see the finished picture here:

    Let me know what you think :D I'm personally death chuffed, and the band likes it too.

    And the CD is very good as well, especially for a 3rd/2nd section band. Let me know if you want one ;) they should be available next month.
  11. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    That is brilliant, absolutely stunning. Font choice is simple yet elegant.

    Well done!

  12. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Nice one - I might have to create a new job :D
  13. winterman

    winterman Member

    Flipping 'eck Holly! Wow! That's about all I can say.. from the original sketches you posted to this finished article! Wow!

    Love it, so crisp and clean and yet striking.. One of the best brass band (and non-brass for that matter) covers I have seen I think.

    Well done :D
  14. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

  15. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Excellent - clear and uncluttered, and the sort of thing that will draw people's attention for all the right reasons :tup
  16. Hollso

    Hollso Member

    Thanks you guys, it means a lot. Spread the word!!

    p.s. I don't charge much for commissions... ;)
  17. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I'll bear it in mind :wink:
  18. Harold.Wells

    Harold.Wells Active Member

    Great result Holly! A good idea produced very professionally. Well done!
  19. Di

    Di Active Member

    Holly, that is absolutely superb. Congratulations, you should be very proud. :clap:
  20. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Excellent stuff Holly. Give yourself a pat on the back!!

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