For a record label, its maybe easier to find budding artists nowadays since their work is made easier through: TV shows (American Idol, The Voice etc), social media sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter etc) and video upload sites like: YouTube, VEVO, DailyMotion, iTunes, SoundCloud etc. An amateur will upload his song online, get enough likes or hits or even downloads and become an overnight internet sensation. A crazy audition on a TV show or progression to quarter or semi finals will leave an impression on the general public. These people could be one hit wonders or go on to become famous recording artists like Kelly Clarkson (season one – American Idol winner), Andy McKee (One of the first instrumental acoustic guitarist to get recognition through You Tube) and Bruno Mars (video of Just the way you are first gained popularity on music sharing sites) among others.
What happens next? The artist contacts a recording company or vice versa. Other songs are recorded, mixed, edited and marketed through TV or radio (videos are made to build album hype and increase the artist’s hype). Then an album is released and concert dates announced. Now you’ve built an artist profile in the eyes of the public but to sell his or her songs i.e. for people to actually buy the CD and generate revenues you need to market the CD itself. It could be a rock star or an emerging singer, once the CD goes on the rack it should make you want to spend some bucks to buy it. You might get some Sticker Deals but it’s hard to say. Of course there is competition from other musicians/recording labels there on the store.
To increase POS visibility, you need to package it appropriately. Keeping this in mind, designers prefer CD jackets since these protect the CDs from scratches and are not breakable. When a CD jacket is conceived; the artist profile, music genre, theme of songs and title are all considered. Your design should either be an amalgamation of all these or highlight one major feature but do not muddle it, since the designs that make an impression are those which at least appear distinct. Album descriptions aren’t normally included unless it’s an all hits or a jazz or an opera singer’s album.
Some examples of interesting CD jackets conceived are:
“Adele – 21” – A simple brown cover highlighting her face in profile. Since by the time the album was released there was already a major hype about the singer who was not even a typical size zero. Her expression depicts the theme of the songs which makes it all work.
Metal Music Covers – Normally the bands have an ideology or a strong theme that they adhere to which is also seen in concerts and that is exactly how the cover is designed.
Skrillex – the band that brought dub step music into mainstream listening has ‘Skrillex’ written in bold font with strong contrasting colors (black being the basic with blues, greens, reds and white combinations) on their CD jackets.