Monday, January 10, 2011

CD Cover & Label Designs by Sabre Design
Bands and musicians are always looking for affordable ways to get artwork for their albums and t-shirts.

If you want affordable yet quality graphics, why not consider hiring a young college artist looking to pad their portfolio. Places to look are on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. If you already have pages, then you just need to put out the message to your own fans. Chances are, there are several artists amongst your fan-base. Be sure to include 'amateur graphic designer' in your message so that it's searchable on these social networks.

To create passes for your shows, an economical way to do this is use the artwork you have for your album and other items and recycle it! After you already own it, why not use it for other things. Don't forget to include the words 'band pass' or 'backstage pass' on them. You can buy luggage lamination from any office store and then use a hot iron to make your passes complete. Another reason to recycle your artwork to use for additional collateral is because you'll be branding your brand or music. This allows your fans to get to know your current album. Make sure your designer allows you to use the artwork they've created on other things too. Just because they create a cover for you doesn't legally give you the rights to use it elsewhere. So it's best to get permission or 'use rights' confirmed in writing, even with pro-bono artwork. 

Band or music logos are also very valuable and can keep you from spending tons of money down the road. This is because you can use your logo for many years while just changing the design of your collateral. Fans will always remember your logo when you're using it year after year. If you're looking at getting a professionally designed logo for your band, expect to pay over $1000. There is the possibility of paying less, but budget for a higher cost to get the quality you want. When you've approved and paid for your logo design, make sure that you get your logo in an EPS vector format. If you don't, you won't be able to use low-resolution, web JPGs or GIFs on larger things for your band like banners and t-shirts.  

Speaking of t-shirts, here are two great t-shirt companies online that we have had great service and quality from:

InstaShirt (great for bands on a budget)
Dolphin Shirts (upscale, high-end printing)

Another option to save money is to have a designer create your files to match CD templates like those sold by Avery so you can print them yourself. I only recommend buying gloss labels because they look much more professional on CDs than the matte ones. After burning a CD, printing the labels, traycards and front cover insert, you'll be paying roughly $3.00 for each CD you make, but you can do as many as you want instead of paying hundreds of dollars up front.

Like Sabre Design, many design firms are now offering 'digital press kits'. You don't have to pay additional money to print them, so why not take advantage of having one designed. Sound clips of your music and videos can be incorporated into them and changes are able to be made easily.

There are so many ways to stretch your band's dollar so don't ever think you can't have something nice to represent your band or yourself. The internet is full of amazing contacts and artists.

by Christina Wilkinson

The following CD designs were created by Sabre Design. We hope you enjoy them. 


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