Getting the look of your album right is just as important as getting the sound right. Whilst the age old advice has always been never judge a book (or in this case a CD) by its cover, the fact remains that a lot of us still do. If you put a CD up for sale after your concert the assumption from your audience will be that your singing on the CD is just as good, if not better, than the concert you have just given.
Sure, people will pick up the CD and first of all turn it over to see what songs are on it, but the thing is you need to entice them to pick it up in the first place. And this is where the artwork is important. Particularly the front cover.
Primary School CD Artwork
Most of our Primary School CDs feature a drawing on the front cover by one of the pupils. Mostly this is giving the children a chance to be involved in the production – in a lot of cases we feature other pupils artwork in the booklet or on the back too. It’s something we’ve been doing for years and does seem to be the de facto solution for a Primary School CD cover.
When we put together primary school covers we usually adopt a similar format to that above which includes the pupil drawing as well as the school name and title. The bars are generally in the colour of the school uniform, so we do lots of red or blue covers or sometimes a shade of green. The school can pick whatever colour they like but by default we try to keep the colours relevant to the school as this helps to brand it as their product.
Secondary School & Chamber Choirs CD Artwork
Sometimes we record at secondary schools or school chamber choirs and in those instances a pupil drawing is not always the most appropriate solution. Nevertheless it is always important to brand the CD to look like something the school produced. Below, for example, is a recent album cover produced for Cranleigh Prep School. The school supplied the photo and we created the ‘design’. In order to do this properly we were sent a branding document which outlined exactly which colours could be used along with the font set.
Community Choir CD Artwork
As well as recording in Schools, we also record a lot of adult choirs – chamber choirs, community choirs etc. In a lot of cases these choirs will design their own CD artwork. They might already have a graphic designer they work with for posters / concert programs / websites etc or their might be someone in the choir who is talented in this area.
For choirs who want to create their own artwork we can supply the necessary templates. Either way the branding and look of the CD is important. Hence why if a choir has their own designer we are happy for them to create artwork.
When it comes to CD artwork there is not really any right or wrong. We have a small team of graphic designers who can help you produce basic artwork for your album or indeed you can create your own using templates which we will supply. All the examples above show artwork created for a CD in a standard jewel case with a booklet. Plenty of other solutions are available. The most important thing is to create a CD which will entice your customers to pick it up and buy it as well as ensuring, where appropriate, that it fits in with any branding you have for your school or choir.