Mr. Michael Delahunt

Graphic Design 1 & 2

Designing

CDs and CD Packaging

 

The packaging of a music CD is expected to persuade consumers of the desirability of the music recorded, and to purchase it. What is printed on the CD and its packaging must communicate a variety of information.

 

 

Determine the shape and dimensions of a CD's printing area. These are referred to in the specifications in the assignments which follow.

 

 

 

Specifications for the design of each CD:

Because every CD must be exactly the same size and shape, there are rules applied to the size and shape of the area on them which can be printed.

1 - The design printed on any CD must be limited to within two perfectly circular areas:

A - The outer edge of printable area is a circle with a 116 mm diameter.

B - The stacking ring near the center of the CD, can have no ink printed on it.

What is the stacking ring? It is a banded protrusion jutting out (as a ring) on the bottom or non-printing side of the disc. This permits discs to be stacked on top of one another without harming the data field. The other side (printing side) of the disc leaves a very narrow gutter in the surface of the disc. The disc cannot have ink in this gutter. To avoid that, we must void that area of all ink.

C - The inner edge of the printable area is a circle with a 20 mm diameter.

2 - The "Compact Disc Digital Audio" symbol assures the consumer that compact disc standards have been followed in the manufacture of the disc. This symbol is displayed to the right. Copy this image to your folder on the phs-itc server for this project.

3 - The music publishing company's logo, name, copyright statement, location, and catalogue number must appear.

4 - The name of the recording artist and the title of the album must be prominent texts.

5 - The playlist -- the list of separately recorded pieces of music -- must include titles, their order and duration (minutes:seconds).

* . . See other specifications for individual CDs -- A and B listed below. . . *

 

 

Specifications for designing the packaging for each CD:

CDs can be packaged in any of a wide variety of containers, but most popular by far is the "crystal box." Because every crystal box can contain a sheet of paper for the front of the case, and another for the back, and each of these must be a certain size and shape.

FRONT Cover:

1 - The paper for the front cover must be 120 mm wide and 120 mm high.

2 - The music publishing company's logo, name, copyright statement, location, and catalogue number must appear. You may use any of the recording company logos posted on this page.

3 - The name of the recording artist and the title of the album must be prominent texts.

4 - The "Compact Disc Digital Audio" symbol assures the consumer that compact disc standards have been followed in the manufacture of the disc. This can be placed on the back cover if it is not on the front.

 

BACK Cover:

1 - The paper for the back cover must be 135 mm wide and 120 mm high.

1 - The music publishing company's logo, name, copyright statement, location, and catalogue number must appear.

2 - The name of the recording artist and the title of the album.

3 - The playlist -- the list of separately recorded pieces of music -- must include titles, their order and duration (minutes:seconds).

4 - The bar code. This provides accurate inventory and pricing controls. Use one of the barcodes posted below.

* . . See other specifications for individual CD covers listed below. . . *

 

 

Your assignment is to design the CD and its packaging for each of two groups of musicians:

the A project -- a popular band

the B project -- a symphony orchestra

Each set of designs must satisfy a set of specifications.

Some are listed above, and some are listed below.

Each project has its own deadline.

 

 

A . . . . . . The first set of designs:

For up to 150 points:

You are designing the first set of designs for a CD, and its packaging (the front and back cover) for an American band that appeals to a broad range of teenagers.

This popular band wishes to project an image of wild, exciting intensity, and encourages you to take the design to the limit. Their agents and the record company require that the group's CD and CD packaging will not offend any adults. Your goal is to please both parties.

Choose from the following names for the group (or obtain an okay to use a name of your own):

Choose from the following titles for the album (or obtain an okay to use a title of your own):

The playlist:

1 Like humans (4:20)
2 Walk on water (3:40)
3 Here In Love (2:35)
4 Broken things (7:55)
5 Superman (3:26)
6 Moments After You've Gone (5:08)
7 Muddy Blues (2:30)
8 Roaring waters(1:54)
9 No One Else (2:39)
10 Low Tide (4:12)
11 Paradise (3:37)

The design on the CD must include a photograph that occupies the entire printable area. All lettering must be legible, so be careful to make it contrast strongly with the area of the photo where it is placed.

The packaging for the CD must include an accordian-folded insert that includes the cover. It has two sides for each of five panels (they are like pages -- a total of ten of them). This insert must have lots of pictures, a list of the members of the band, the text of the songs "Greeked," and whatever else you decide to include.

Step-by-Step Designing the CD

1 - Find or create a photograph that you wish to use as the background for your CD design. This photo should be as large or larger than a CD so that you can resize it without losing resolution. Save this photo as a file in your name folder on the phs-itc server.

2 - Open your connection to the phs-itc server. Open Assignments > Graphic Design and open your own name folder. Drag the folder "Designing CDs" from the Graphic Design folder into your name folder to make a copy of it there.

2 - Open Adobe Illustrator. Choose File > Open > Users > [your year] > [your name folder] > Designing CDs > cdtemplate.eps. This file provides you with a template for the areas in which to place your CD's design -- the edges of each of three circular areas have been masked. A photograph has been placed behind these masking layers in order to isolate the areas that can be printed for a CD's design. You will replace this photo with your own photo, and then add the text and other images you wish to place in your own design. Using a second template file, you will create another layer on which you will create the text with which to label your CD.

3 - Looking at "cdtemplate.eps", in the Layers palette, select the layer "the photo". Select the Selection Tool (black arrow) place it on a part of the photograph and click to select the sushi photograph. Press delete on the keyboard.

4 - Choose File > Place. Navigate to the location of the photo you wish to place. Select that file and click on the Place button.

5 - Using the Selection Tool (black arrow), select your photo, and arrange it so that your photo is centered behind the white masking shapes. To make your photo larger or smaller, click twice on the Scale Tool (below the Pencil Tool). In the Scale window that appears, enter a number in the Uniform Scale box (over 100% for larger, and under 100% for smaller). Click OK. Use the Selection Tool to move your photo into final position. Choose File > Save As and change the title of the file to [yourname].cdA.

Adding Labeling Text

1 - In Illustrator, choose File > Open > Users > [your year] > [your name folder] > Designing CDs > cdlabel.eps. This file provides you with a template for a layer in which to place the texts for your CD's design. Once you have added all of those texts, you will copy them and past them onto the "Labeling" layer of the cdA file you've been working on.

2 - You will start the labeling of the CD with texts that will follow the curve of circles centered on the center of the CD. Select the Ellipse Tool (above the Paintbrush Tool). Click on the gray area of the CD. Set sizes for a circle that will serve as the path for the first line of text. (Try a 100 mm diameter circle to see if that size will be satisfactory.) Click OK. Make both the stroke and the fill transparent. Use the Selection Tool to center the circle on the design. Select the Path Type Tool (click-drag on the Type Tool to select it) and place the cross-hairs of this tool on one of the little blocks on the circle you just drew, and click. Then type the line of text you wish to place on this curving path. (See specifications above to decide on what text to place here.) Select this text to adjust its font, size, color, and style. Repeat these instructions for other lines of text you'll place on circular paths of larger or smaller sizes.

3 - When you have finished composing the text you wish to place on your CD design, use the Selection tool to select the gray background, and remove it using the Delete key. Select the path of a line of text. Holding down the Shift key, click on each of the other paths of text, Apple-G to group the lines, and Apple-C to copy them all.

4 - Choose Window > cdA, and Apple-V to paste the text you created in the labeling template. Use the Selection Tool to center the text you have just pasted.

 

Designing the CD Cover / Booklet

The packaging for the CD must include an accordian-folded booklet that includes the cover. It has two sides for each of five 120 x 120 mm pages (a total of ten pages).
This booklet must have:

  1. lots of pictures
  2. a list of the members of the band
  3. the text of at least five songs "Greeked" -- meaning printed with dummy text -- called Greeking because graphic designers often use a foreign-sounding text that starts "lorem ipsum . . . ":

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipisci velit, sed diem nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut lacreet dolore magna aliguam erat volutpat. Ut wisis enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tution ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis te feugifacilisi. Duis autem dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zril delenit au gue duis dolore te feugat nulla facilisi.

Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci taion ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex en commodo consequat. Duis te feugifacilisi per suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex en commodo consequat. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diem nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut lacreet dolore magna aliguam erat volutpat. Ut wisis enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tution ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis te feugifacilisi. Duis autem dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit au gue duis dolore te feugat nulla facilisi. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci taion ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex en commodo consequat. Duis te feugifacilisi per suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex en commodo consequat.

Duis te feugifacilisi. Duis autem dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit au gue duis dolore te feugat nulla facilisi. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci taion ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex en commodo consequat. Duis te feugifacilisi per suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex en commodo consequat.


Copy and paste parts of this text in the positions that would be occupied by the lyrics of at least five songs on the CD.

  1. whatever else you decide to include on the pages of the booklet.

 

Step-by-Step Designing the first side of the CD Cover / Booklet:

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Choose Edit > Preferences > Units & Undo, and reset the general units to "Millimeters"
  3. Choose File > New and (for a horizontally opening pamphlet) set the size of the canvas's width to 600 mm (5 x 120 mm) and the height to 120 mm. Name this document "[last name].cdAcoverI.[period#]" Click OK.
  4. Choose View > Hide Page Tiling.
  5. Choose View > Show Rulers. You will see millimeter measurement rulers along the top and left sides. Notice that the left edge of your canvas's area matches the 190 mm mark along the top of the screen. The right edge of the first 120 mm portion of this sheet will be at the 70 mm mark. In order to place lines on the canvas that will show you where the folds will be separating the five pages to each side of this document, you should use the ruler to the left to make a vertical rule at this and three other places, each 120 mm apart. Place your cursor on the ruler to the left, hold down the mouse, and drag the a copy of the vertical rule to the the 70 mm mark on the ruler at the top. This line is visible to you, but will not be printed as a line. The next such ruler line, 120 mm farther to the right will be at the 50 mm mark (watch that you use the one to the right of the 0 mark). Place another vertical ruler line at 170 and 290 mm.
  6. Design the cover in either the first or last of the five pages on this canvas. Make the rest of the pages satisfy the specifications listed above for the booklet. Create another file much like this one on which to design the five pages of the booklet that will be printed on the other side of this paper.


Deadline May 13.
For up to 150 points, submit a duplicate of each of your four A project files into Users > Assignments > Graphic Design > drop-box:

  1. The CD itself must be titled
    [last name].CDA.[period]
  2. The first of two sides of the CD cover/booklet must be titled
    [last name].cdAcoverI.[period]
  3. The second side of the CD cover/booklet must be titled
    [last name].cdAcoverII.[period]
  4. The back of the CD cover/booklet must be titled
    [last name].cdAback.[period]

 

One-fifth of the points you can earn are for turning this assignment in by its deadline.

 

 

 

 B . . . . . . The second set of designs:

You are designing the second set of designs for a CD, and its packaging (the front and back cover) for an small symphony orchestra.

The orchestra wishes to project an image of conservative charm, and encourages you to evoke traditional values. Their agents and the record company require that the orchestra's CD and CD packaging will not offend anyone. Your goal is to please them.

For up to 75 points:

Specifications for the design of project B's CD:

1 - Begin by finding a picture that will become the visual theme of your designs. This will be a CD with music composed by Ludwig von Beethoven, find and download an image of a picture painted during the time Beethoven was working 1800-1825. Here are links to five of the great museums in the world:

2 - Once you have copied a picture, place it on the CD using the template file on the phs-itc server titled cdtemplate.eps, following the same step-by-step instructions you used for the A project above.

3 - Position one of the three versions of the "Compact Disc Digital Audio" symbol on the disc. Copy this image to your folder on the phs-itc server for this project. Besides the black-on-white version to the right, there are two other versions -- black-on-transparent and white-on-transparent -- available in the folder at phs-itc > Users > Assignments > Graphic Design > Designing CDs. This symbol must be legible, but subtle.

4 - The music publishing company's logo, name, copyright statement, location, and catalogue number must appear, typed on a circular path.

5 - The name of the orchestra -- "The Pinnacle Symphony Orchestra" -- and the title of the album -- "Beethoven's Fifth and Ninth Symphonies" -- must be prominent in beautifully designed type, produced either in PhotoShop or in Illustrator.

6 - The playlist -- the list of separately recorded pieces of music -- must include titles, their order and duration (minutes:seconds):

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67

1 Adagio. Allegro vivace (11:36)

2 Andante con moto (10:16)

3 Allegro (5:26)

4 Allegro ma non troppo (9:04)

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Opus 125

1 Allegro ma non troppo (15:53)

2 Molto vivace (10:30)

3 Adagio molto e cantabile (14:53)

4 Presto (6:36)

5 Allegro assai (18:18)

7 - The CD file itself must be titled when submitted as [last name].cdB.[period]

 

Specifications for the design of project B's packaging:

FRONT Cover:

1 - In Illustrator, the canvas for the front cover must be 120 mm wide and 120 mm high. There will be no booklet, and it will be printed on only one side, so only one file for the cover will be needed.

2 - Prominently display the same picture you used on the CD.

3 - The music publishing company's logo, name, copyright statement, location, and catalogue number must appear. You may use any of the recording company logos posted on this page.

4 - The name of the orchestra and the title of the album must be prominent in beautifully designed type of an old-looking style, produced either in PhotoShop or in Illustrator.

5 - The CD cover (only one side) must be titled [last name].cdBcover.[period]

 

BACK Cover:

1 - In Illustrator, the canvas for the back cover must be 135 mm wide and 120 mm high.

1 - The music publishing company's logo, name, copyright statement, location, and catalogue number must appear.

2 - The name of the orchestra and the title of the album.

3 - The playlist.

4 - The "Compact Disc Digital Audio" mark as described above.

5 - The bar code. This provides accurate inventory and pricing controls. Use one of the barcodes posted below.

6 - The back of the CD cover/booklet must be titled [last name].cdBback.[period]

 

 

Deadline for B is May 22.
For up to 75 points, submit a duplicate of each of your three B project files into Users > Assignments > Graphic Design > drop-box:

  1. The CD itself must be titled
    [last name].cdB.[period]
  2. The CD cover (only one side) must be titled
    [last name].cdBcover.[period]
  3. The back of the CD cover/booklet must be titled
    [last name].cdBback.[period]

 

One-fifth of the points you can earn are for turning this assignment in by its deadline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Return to Graphic Design Course

 

 

 

 

ArtLex has thousands of articles about art terms used in art production, art criticism, art history, aesthetics, and art education. I created ArtLex for my students, to help them increase their understanding of art concepts, readings, writings, and conversations. Some of the hyperlinks found on the pages about my elementary art program will take you to ArtLex articles about terms on these pages.

 

I have taught art at three elementary schools in the Paradise Valley Unified School district (northeastern Phoenix and north Scottsdale) from 1986-. I began publishing information about my classes on the Web in 1995. I taught at Pinnacle High School during the 2001-2002 school year, and posted these lessons that year. I will maintain them as time permits.

 

 

Please send your comments to

Copyright © 2001 - Michael Delahunt, M.F.A.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED