Design and Packaging Research
Having decided to create a small run of physical copies for my E.P, I had to decide upon what format the packaging would be. I felt the most appropriate choice for my project was a simple card wallet sleeve as they are cheap and simple to produce and are best for the environment as they do not use any plastic. I also feel something hand made and DIY would compliment my aesthetic nicely.
Above are a few images that I compiled into a vision board for inspiration for the overall aesthetic of my packaging. I intended to draw upon dark and mysterious imagery and symbolism surrounding occult themes, but to keep the overall design simple but unnerving. I opted for a large triangle to act as my logo and focal point of the artwork, as I found it interesting how often the triangle symbol is used within ideologies such as alchemy and secret societies and felt it matched my projects themes. The colour palette for the artwork is very subdued, consisting mostly of neutral colours like grey, black and white as they are simplistic, contrast well and look sophisticated.
I intended to use this design on both the sleeve case and onto the disc itself.
CD Disk Design
I wanted to put a lot of attention to detail into the packaging, and included the disk itself. Rather than get the CDs manufactured professionally, I opted to create them myself as this was a more cost effective choice and gave me free reign to experiement with different ideas. I purchased black coloured discs to print on rather than standard ones because I felt it offered a nice unique touch to the packaging. I also purchased a home printer that could print directly onto CDs.
Printing my own CD’s from home required a lot of trial and error. When printing my first CD, the image was slightly too big, and so some of the text on the disc was cut off. To remedy this I had to go back onto Photoshop and edit the dimensions before trying again. With the second attempt I didn’t leave enough time for the ink to dry onto the disk before picking it up, and so I ended up smudging the design by mistake but the overall design fit onto the disc perfectly and the third attempt was ultimately successful.
I looked online for a software for burning the tracks onto the disc. Whilst I could have just used Windows Media Player, I wanted to source a software designed especially for the task to ensure quality. I did a quick search on the internet to find the best softwares you can download for completely free. I came across a very helpful list of top rated CD burners that had been reviewed and are currently free. https://www.lifewire.com/best-free-burning-software-2438473 After reading through and finding the best software with all the features I needed, I download the top rated one called CD Burner XP. I found the software perfect and used it to burn the tracks onto my printed disc.
Now that I had the artwork itself designed and finished, the biggest challenge I found with creating the sleeve case was finding the right paper to print upon. I tried out various kinds of card with different thicknesses and textures as prototypes before settling on the one that worked the best.
My first attempt was on a thick, standard card material. I printed my design onto it and and simply cut and folded it into a pocket shaped sleeve for the disc to slide into. I wasn’t pleased with the final result as the card was too thick and it ended up looking a little cheap.
I also tried out a deluxe box packaging that the disc would be presented in. I made a prototype for this by printing my artwork design out onto card and gluing it to the lid of the box. I wasn’t very happy with the outcome of this and so I tried burning the edges of the card a bit to make the box look a bit more stylised, as if it were a found artifact. I was still not happy with it however, and decided to go back to my original idea of having a sleeve instead.
I went back to the drawing board and tried out more kinds of paper, including a thinner card that was more textured but which ultimately distorted the design. I then decided to try out printing onto tracing paper, as I felt it could be interesting.
The tracing paper turned out to work really well for my design. The transparency gave it a sort of ghostly feel which matched the aesthetic of the design itself, and it gave a really unique touch to the packaging.