Reasons You Should Never Scrimp On Your Photo Shoot

Promotional photos are a huge component of a musician’s marketing and branding. It’s necessary to have just the right images to effectively market your music and its message.

5 things that can delay or degrade your CD/DVD project

5 things that can delay or degrade your CD/DVD project

1. Lack of quality photos for cover/insert Frequently I am sent low resolution or poor quality photos for the insert and even for the cover. I usually recommend reshooting them, but of course it’s too late by the time people get to the design phase. So we “make do” and I have to try to […]

5 most forgotten CD design elements

5 most forgotten CD design elements

When I design or layout a CD or DVD for a client, they are responsible for providing me with the text and photos they want to include. After over 400 projects, I have noticed a few commonly forgotten elements. I don’t have time read everything, as I am usually concentrating on the design, but I […]

Recycled wallets, jackets and digipaks

Recycled wallets, jackets and digipaks

100% recycled Eco-wallets, Eco-jackets and Eco-digis – for no extra charge!

When I Do Your Graphics … What I need from you

When I Do Your Graphics … What I need from you

Compile all material that you want to include in your design: photos, text, original artwork to be scanned, logos, etc.

Anatomy of a Jewelcase

Anatomy of a Jewelcase

It is manufactured in the billions and so well known to millions, but what’s that thing in the back called?

Creating a Compressed (zipped) folder

Creating a Compressed (zipped) folder

For Windows Open the drive or folder where your files are located Select the files you wish to include. Right-click Choose “Send to” and then “Compressed” A compressed or zipped folder with the same name as your new folder will appear in your folder. You have an opportunity to name it anything you want. It […]

Stock Photo Sites

Stock Photo Sites

Here are some sites you can search to see if anything jumps out at you.

Font Sites

Font Sites

Are a few sites I use to find fonts for my projects.

Virtual Jewelcase

My exclusive proofing system shows you how your graphics look in your packaging.  Also great to include in your digital download packages or on your site.

Proofs and Proofing

Proofs and Proofing

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Image Resolution – DPI/PPI/SPI

Image Resolution – DPI/PPI/SPI

If you are supplying image files or creating your own graphics, you need to know this.

Hiring a photographer (or artist)

Hiring a photographer (or artist)

It is worth the investment – a pro will make you look like a pro.

Photography techniques & tips

Photography techniques & tips

Try radically different concepts – including something that does not show your face on the cover. Get crazy with your poses. Let your personality come out. Have fun. Have some funny phrases handy to use just before you take the photo for a natural smile. Pay attention to what you’re WEARING. Avoid tiny prints. Check […]

Photographs and Images

Photographs and Images

IMAGES can affect the way people perceive your music before they even hear it.

Preparing Your Text

Preparing Your Text

File formats I prefer Microsoft Word, RTF, or you can email your text. Submit all text in a single file if possible. Don’t send pieces, changes, etc. in many different emails – this can lead to something being missed. It also makes it difficult to see an overview of how much text there really is. […]

Other Packaging Options

Other Packaging Options

Top spine labels, stickers, shrinkwrap, promos

Packaging Choices

Packaging Choices

Different packaging styles and sizes communicate different messages.

Finishing Services

Finishing Services

Already designed in Photoshop or Indesign (PC) but don’t know how to finish it?

The psychology of color in design

The psychology of color in design

Color is a lot like music – waves of energy that effect our emotions. Your choice of colors can be as important as choosing the songs you include on your album, the instruments on your tracks or the photo for your cover.

Project Checklist

Project Checklist

Questions you will need to answer

CD & DVD Logo usage rules

CD & DVD Logo usage rules

The compact disc logo is actually owned by Philips Electronics N.V. The DVD logo is controlled by the DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation of Japan.You do not have to include disc logos on your artwork if you do not want to. If you do include the logos, then you must follow the rules regarding size, shape […]

Writing Liner Notes

Writing Liner Notes

Give a lot of thought in advance to all of the credits you will be including on your liner notes. It can slow down the process and cost extra money if you realize after the work has gone to press that you need to add the photographer’s credits or a special dedication, etc.

My Copyright Policy

My Copyright Policy

DON’T USE ANYTHING YOU DON’T HAVE PERMISSION OR LICENSING FOR.

Scanning

Scanning

Clean your scanner glass and photograph with a soft cloth before placing each item. Do not scan at a lower resolution and then enlarge it later! This actually lowers the resolution and can turn it into garbage. For example, a 2.5″ x 2.5″ image scanned at 300 PPI that is later doubled 5″ x 5″ […]

FREE CD Project Planner EBOOK

FREE CD Project Planner EBOOK

Full of answers to things you need to know – and a lot of questions you need to ask yourself.

Barcodes

Barcodes

A barcode, or UPC code, is essential if you’re planning to sell your CDs in stores or online.

Manufacturing Project Overview and Production Schedule

Manufacturing Project Overview and Production Schedule

1. Graphics Time Frame: 1-3 weeks. Tip: If you are pressed for time, start your graphics before you finish in the studio. You provide: Liner notes, photos or other images, a rough layout. Troubleshooting: review all proofs very carefully.   2. Production Master You provide: The master and PQ code sheet (your mastering engineeer provides […]

Jewelcases vs. Digipaks

Jewelcases vs. Digipaks

Digipaks Digipaks are definitely becoming more popular. Before you spend the extra money for the “look” consider this: Pros: As a designer, I love to design digipaks. Many people love how they look and feel. They are perceived as being more “eco-friendly” (which isn’t exactly true, however). They automatically include full color inside because the […]

What is a RELEASE NUMBER and why do I need one?

What is a RELEASE NUMBER and why do I need one?

A release number, also known as matrix number or catalog number, is an identification number for your CD.