This is an album designed for local hardcore band Lost Within. I co-founded the group and before long we were set to release our first album, Phantom Limb. I learned a lot from my time in the band. One of the most valuable things I gathered from the experience is that design is as much a part of your band as the music. Also, never live with your band mates.
Picture this: You are a new group out to make your mark on the music community, but you find the music products that you have produced do not entice your audience to buy. Upon closer inspection, you realize there is a problem; the printed stickers half peeling off of the cheap CDR’s you burned do not sell. Surprise! We’ve all been there, with time you realize it’s hard to sell something that is perceived as having a low value.
Create Perceived Value.
Originally, the point of buying a CD or record was to own the music within it, but now (with the rising popularity of digital downloads) the thing that entices people into purchasing CD’s is the experience. The feeling of excitement you get while unwrapping the cellophane and digging into that jewel case, perusing the artwork, and reading the booklet while you listen to the album is what gives it value from the perspective of the consumer. Deliver a perceived value greater than the cost to your target demographic (Do your research!), and you will have an effective product. Other ways to increase perceived value is to increase the scarcity by offering limited runs, or offer it for a limited time to increase urgency. Unfortunately, perceived value doesn’t matter if your album isn’t getting noticed.
Cut through the glut with album design.
An effective album design should take into consideration the environment in which the album inhabits. Does your design encourage people to pick it up off the shelf of your local music store? Does your CD scream “PLAY ME” while delicately sorted into a collection? In the current climate of the music industry, you must realize that competition is fierce and every aspect of your image is a hurdle to getting someone to take the time to listen to your music. This is where creativity comes in. Use all the tools you have available to make the most interesting and evocative album design you can. Take this opportunity to not only get noticed, but use this as a chance to express what you are all about.
Extend the influence of your music.
In the case of Lost Within, the group was heavy and energetic. Lyrically we focused on topics such as personal loss, individuality, and defying censorship. Incorporating visual representations of these topics, while capturing the energy of the music, was my goal in the design of this project. The album design should be an extension of the art within it. Focus on key pieces of your visual identity as a band to convey emotion and intention.
Promote the launch.
Now that you have a great product that is an extension of your art, it becomes that much easier to promote. That being said, don’t be deceived; you still have to hussle! Set up a CD release show and promote the hell out of it by using imagery that connects the event with the album for a sure fire way to get your fans excited. It may sound simple, but that is how you sell your album with design!
Do you need a new album design for your band?
A gray perspective is a creative graphic design business committed to making bold and creative albums’s for bands and solo musicians. We help bands and other creatives tell their story with vibrant and effective album designs. Every aspect of your image is a hurdle to getting someone to take the time to listen to your music. Allow us to help you take your band’s image to the next level.