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On CD Art and Best Practices

CD drawn on with sharpie

It looks like some of you stubborn music types still want to Press CDs.

GOOD FOR YOU.

In a previous blog post I made my arguments for still pressing a batch of hard-copies in a streaming world, and you may or may not have read it and may or may not have taken my advice. No matter how you came to this decision, there are still some best practices in doing so. If you’re going to make the investment, let’s be smart about it. Without covering too many thoughts already covered in the previous post, here are some “musts” to include in your CD art:

  1. ARTIST NAME and ALBUM TITLE on FRONT COVER and SPINE
  2. SONG LIST on BACK COVER
  3. COPYRIGHT, YEAR, LABEL (if applicable), All Rights Reserved on BACK COVER
  4. PRODUCER, MIXER, MUSICIANS, STUDIO and WRITER CREDITS on INSIDE SLEEVE
  5. CONTACT and SOCIAL MEDIA on CD, INNER SLEEVE and BACK COVER
  6. UPC BARCODE on BACK COVER

In my mind, these are simply non-negotiable. Give your audience (no matter who they are) the key elements – who you are, what’s on the CD, who was involved, who created and has ownership of the songs, and how to contact you. Of course, there are other suggestions that you can take or leave, but as someone who has been through this more than a few times, I think these can and will benefit you in the long run:

  1. Put your FACE on the COVER
  2. Make sure your IMAGES are FOCUSED, BOLD and INTERESTING
  3. Make sure your TEXT is LEGIBLE and GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT
  4. Make sure your PACKAGING has a SPINE
  5. Include LYRICS and THANK YOUS in the SLEEVE

In the end, you can do whatever the heck you want. It’s your CD. But knowing what your consumers are going to want or appreciate should influence your artwork decisions, and in that way it will benefit you as a working musician. If you have questions, post them below. And as always, thank you for for your friendship, your interest, and your art.

~O

 


 

Owen Sartori is a 35-year veteran in the music industry as a musician, songwriter, and producer. Currently, he is a co-owner of F5 SoundHouse in Minneapolis, MN and helps mentor, produce and write with/for artists wherever he is needed.

For more, visit f5soundhouse.com.