CD Layout and Digital Download Art Design

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have played guitar since my teens, spending six years in a touring band. I keep an eye out for designs that compliment artists’ visions, from folk singers to independent film producers. Despite the popularity of digital streaming music, many still prefer physical media. A good CD layout still makes a big  difference displayed on a collector’s shelf.

See samples of my CD layout design and digital download art below. Contact me with your proposal. I take pride in helping fellow artists create the ideal image for their labor of love.

Analog Apostles CD Art for "The Other Side of the Sea" EP

Analog Apostles

Lexington, KY

I designed this CD art for Lexington, KY alternative rock band Analog Apostles‘ debut EP “The Other Side of the Sea”. Since I played lead guitar in the band at the time, it was a no brainer for me to do the artwork. I was also very involved in the music production side. Ben, the main songwriter and rhythm guitarist, thought of the title long before we recorded the first note. The title and many of the songs made references to water, so we decided together on a nautical theme.

CD art – setting sail for the high seas

The four panel digipak layout started with an antique style treasure map background. Then, I overlaid a classical pirate ship illustration in brown as the focal point. The “A” monogram mark from the logo I designed was later superimposed onto the ship’s mainsail. After that, I set the band’s name in an antique “swashbuckling” style font face. The album’s title then materialized in a classic cursive script. I capped off the design with a ghostly image of the band’s “A” icon over the dark blue ocean background in the tray card. Since the record’s theme suggested high adventure, a hint of supernatural mystery put it over the top.

From start to finish, this record truly was a DIY project. We performed every aspect of the production, from the recording process to ordering the album duplication. Ben’s wife Amanda did a great job with the posed band photography. Our fan base fully funded the CD’s production online via Indiegogo, which is a great fundraising tool for artists on a budget.

Are you a band or record label currently hoisting the mainsails on a new album? Contact me today for a CD layout design that will shiver your fans’ timbers.

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Misty Mountain String Band CD layout

Misty Mountain String Band

Louisville, KY

Derek Harris is a vocalist and the bassist in this traditional bluegrass quartet and a long time friend of mine. He contacted me in 2013 to create the CD layout for their debut EP “Went to the Well”.

Bluegrass music CD layout story

The group already had chosen a few elements to bring to the table. Therefore, it was up to me to work them into the final composition and make a few minor adjustments. This was similar to later full length CD layout projects I completed for them, entitled “Brownsboro” and “Red Horizon”. The fabulous Louisville based photographer Cherise Mingus provided the posed photograph for the inside jacket. The talented nature artist Abby Diamond also came on board to create the gorgeous Kentucky cardinal illustration. This was the first of a series of album art collaborations I was fortunate enough to have with these talented artists.

I used Adobe Photoshop to retouch and color correct the band’s posed group photograph. I also removed a small tree from the picture by using the rubber stamp cloning tool. Then, I cleaned up the edges of the cardinal illustration for the clean white background. Finally, the band sent me a very rough sketch of a Greek runes themed “MMSB” logo they had sometimes use in promotional materials. I used Adobe Illustrator to recreate this image as a vector file they could use for any application. Then, I added it to the design. It is featured on both on the inside jacket and on the CD face itself.

Check out MMSB’s music online!

CD layout for your band or music project

Are you about to drop a hot new record? I’m ready to complete the project with professional packaging design and CD art. Contact me today to get started.

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Karaoke album art design - Country Music Digital Download ArtworkWellington Beck Music Group

Nashville, TN

The seminal “American Country Hits” series continued with Volume 19. Each volume had its own karaoke version counterpart. Therefore, along with art for the conventional vocal recordings, I needed to create a karaoke album art design as well. Each record in the series featured art that was mostly identical. For singles, I would simply add the individual song titles. This helped me move quickly from pencil sketches to the finished products, since this client always ran on tight deadlines.

Karaoke album art design for the masses

This time out, I went with a mottled grunge image to create the background. I experimented with different hues until I found a bright shade of turquoise that was perfect. The high contrast inner shadow enhances it with added depth.

The Old West font that I used for the series logo in past volumes returned for this installment. I gave it a high end feel , to match the background by coloring it in a bright rusty red. I also filled it in with a mottled pattern to echo that of the background. Finally, I stroked the inside of the letters in gold and the outside in a light shade of brown.

The iconic steer skull from past volumes peeks out from behind the title with the number “19” branded on its forehead. Last of all, the glowing light burst below the foreground elements ties everything together. Because I composed the artwork with just the right elements, it retains an overall sense of prestige to attract discerning consumers.

This digital download album, like others in the country music series, is available on Amazon, iTunes, and other online music retailers.

Contact me for your record label’s karaoke album art design

You run a record label that needs quick turnaround digital art. Trends change quickly, and you can’t afford to wait around on a cut rate designer. You need a professional with loads of experience with this genre. Contact me today to get started.

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Nashville Country Hits - Digital Download Graphic Design

Wellington Beck Music Group

Nashville, TN

This is a digital download graphic design for a compilation of many popular country music singles of the day. This series is much like digital albums such as Kidz Bop and NOW! That’s What I Call Music. The collection of songs is exclusively available online via iTunes, Amazon, and other online music outlets. It is a part of the long running series of cover albums produced by Wellington Beck that I designed art for. Quick turnaround was the name of the game for these projects. I excelled at exceeding my client’s expectations on time, each and every time.

Digital download graphic design for country music single

I was requested to base the album artwork concept on the hit ABC TV series Nashville. I mimicked the show’s mix of serif and condensed sans serif fonts, as well as the bright pink and grey color scheme. The music publisher also made the request that I incorporate an image of a vintage tube television. I started with these ideas, and then decided to expand on them.

Finally, I incorporated a retro television “test pattern” graphic to complete the image’s layout. Many older listeners and fans of the days when television stations signed off for the night with similar images enjoyed this touch. It was an instant hit with both my client and their listeners.

Hire me for your digital download graphic design

These album art web graphics are among some of my favorite projects. I found it exciting whenever a new assignment would come across my desk. Are you a music publisher or an artist who needs a quality design created to meet digital retailers’ standards? I am just as passionate about music as I am about top shelf graphic design. Contact me today to get started.

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