CDs may look pretty, glinting in the sun and catching the eye – but when it comes to making a real impact, you’ll need more than sunlit reflections. To seriously stand out from the crowd with your promotional video, band EP or anything else, you’ll need to nail down the package. If you want to really get remembered, you ought to consider on-body CD printing.
So what makes a great design for the CD? There are four key factors…
We’re pretty visual creatures, building impressions in a matter of seconds – 7 seconds, to be precise. That means you’ve got 7 seconds to make a visual impact before the recipient decides whether or not to even listen to your CD.
Therefore, you’re going to have to opt for a striking design – it may be more nuanced up close, but for those first impressions, bold is going to be most effective here. Consider what sort of impression you’re looking to make, then make it. If you’re a professional outfit, consider the pro colours you’ll be deploying on your CD. As a musician, it should give a flavour of your musical stylings. These sorts of things matter, and rushing out a CD that has no printed body will be about as useful sending blank sheets of paper to your neighbour three-doors-down. It says nothing, means nothing, and ultimately, risks leading to nothing.
This is rule number one, rule number two, rule number three and rule number thirty-four. Be obvious. Sure, Skepta could probably afford to place an oblique picture on his CD – but that’s not a luxury that can be extended to everyone, particularly those not making waves in the grime scene.
If you want to get noticed right off the bat, make sure your CD clearly states, whether through words or images, precisely what it is. You know what happens to CDs that aren’t clearly labelled? They get ‘lost’ down the sides of desks, or find their way into nick-nack boxes destined for the local jumble sale ‘cause no-one’s got time to double check what something opaquely titled ‘This Will Change Your Life’ really means.
Once your audience has your CD in their hands, and long after they’ve put it down, you want to be remembered. How do you do that?
Well, by not being bland and boring, for starters. Consider experimenting with your ideas – doodles on scraps of paper, using Photoshop, anything that gets those creative juices flowing. Think about what you’d want to see if you were receiving that disc. Consider the last CD that really stuck in your mind. Why do you remember it? What was it that stood out?
Sure, you don’t want to copy those designs – unless you want to be remembered for the wrong reasons – but taking inspiration, standing on the shoulders of giants and going one better, is absolutely at the heart of creativity.
Give your CDs an identity, impress your personality onto them. Don’t play it safe.
We offer two forms of CD printing – screen printing and litho printing. These two methods differ greatly, particularly in relation to the type of image you’ll be printing.
Screen printing is typically used to transfer solid colours to your discs using a silk screen – or, more likely these days, a polyester or nylon screen. It’s the quick and easy option (and that’s a good thing) for those who need a very basic print in order to make them stand out.
Litho printing, on the other hand, is for prints that require clearly defined images. If your desired design is a tad more complex than, say, simple colours, then this is the option to go for.