How to Design a CD Album for a Local Band *Updated Article

* I published this article previously, but I’ve just updated the images for it…

cd album design

Here is a CD Album Design I produced for a local band named “The Reeds”, a Christian-based 2-piece who produced music for the album “All in a days Musing”. Even though I produced this artwork a few years back, it’s one of my favourite CD designs I have produced, so I thought I’d feature it.

cd album inner page image

Firstly, Scott and Karen (the Reeds) provided me with a detailed description of what they wanted, including a set of photographs of themselves to be utilised in the design. The design I produced was for a CD  jewel case with black tray. The reverse printed colour and so was the face-up side of the 4-page inner booklet. The inner booklet was black & white.

Photo of the black and white jewel case insert from the Reeds CD Design

I designed most of the CD cover in Adobe Illustrator®. I made the reeds-illustrations in vector format and tweaked them in Photoshop® before compiling the whole design set back in Illustrator® before exporting to PDF-X.

Slik screen print image

The CD print was comprised of two Pantone® colours, which I instructed the printers to print straight onto the CD face. This utilised the silver of the disc face as “a third colour” in a way, which maximised the simple yet attractive design.

image sof the jewel case and cd spine design

As can be seen in the above image, there isn’t a lot of space on the jewel case spine for the allocated text. My article on CD Design Tips (on point 7) address’s the issue of getting this critical text positioning right.

cd album back lyrics image

When designing a CD Sleeve, one great thing you can do is use an unusual, but appropriate font. Here, I used a readable yet original font on the CD back tray and throughout the design. As there is limited information, a non-standard font can be used in keeping with the style of design.

Further resources: Scott Antony Wainright (from the Reeds) solo music sites: on MySpace & also on his Own Site

Any questions? Please ask them below or leave a general comment.

More on Andrew Kelsall Design:

Top Ten CD Sleeve Design Tips

cd jewel case

Here are my Top Ten CD Cover Design Tips in order of design process. This article is written for an intermediate Photoshop/Illustrator user and upwards, focusing on the technical side of things, so here goes…

CD Sleeve Design Setup

1. First and foremost, make sure you’re using the right CD tray card and booklet templates — and that the dimensions are precise, as this will save many headaches.

2. As with most graphic design work, set your files up in RGB for the initial design stages — and utilize the most appropriate colour profile for the job.

3. Make critical decisions about the actual CD Sleeve design print; if the client requires 2 [ READ MORE ].

29 thoughts on “How to Design a CD Album for a Local Band *Updated Article”

  1. Duane Kinsey

    Some pretty impressive work Andrew. Congratulations on the final design – looks great.
    .-= Duane Kinsey´s last blog ..Selfish Self Promotion =-.

  2. Scott Corgan

    Great article! Local bands are always looking for a great design, they just don’t know it yet…
    .-= Scott Corgan´s last blog ..Test Post for You Man =-.

  3. Andrew Kelsall

    @Duane & Scott → Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  4. Jane Cooke

    Beautiful design. Couldn’t help but notice the list of song titles. Should be giving that album a look.

  5. Rob Cubbon

    I think the design looks great, especially the typography. What font did you use for the track listing? I like the band’s logo as well. Did you do that and if so which font was it based on? Using the silver to “shine through” the CD artwork is a great effect. Nice work!
    .-= Rob Cubbon´s last blog ..Essentials of great blog post design =-.

  6. Andrew Kelsall

    @Jane + Skylar → Thanks 🙂

    @Rob → I think it was Dito or Ditco, something like that. I cant remember the font for the logo, but yeah, I did that too. This one’s a few years old now 🙂

  7. Matt

    Hi Andrew, nice job there.

    I work for a design agency who produce loads of CD covers. Most of them are commercial, TV advertised compilations, so the design considerations are quite different to what applies for local bands (i.e. huge, very readable title), but we still get the opportunity to be pretty creative.

    (shameless plug coming up 😉 …) Check us out if you’re interested –

  8. Andrew Kelsall

    @Matt → Thanks. I’ve noticed how big the “Now” compilations texts are; they definitely get peoples attention in the stores!

    No worries about the plug 🙂

  9. Matt

    Yes, NOW is an interesting series. Not necessarily the coolest design, but it’s stood the test of time as a brand. I think it still far outsells every other compilation on the market when each new edition comes out. It’s all about brand recognition, which it has in spades. We don’t design the main NOW sleeves, but we do all the sub-brands, such as NOW Dance.

  10. Andrew Kelsall

    @Matt → That’s great; I’ve always wondered what software you use to get the 3D look on the text…or is it a trade secret 😉

  11. Matt

    It’s no trade secret 😉 We use Cinema 4D.

  12. David Radovanovic

    What do the two curved objects represent.

  13. Todd M.

    Two curved objects are reeds… Hence the band name. Nice retro kinda of feel to the reeds, illustrator/painted look.