An independent musician needs to make CDs

playing music gigs in Canada Music streaming, MP3s, and digital downloads are in the race for most popular music delivery format, but the physical CD holds first place, especially in terms of revenue, music promotion, and branding for the independent musician. Even with all the benefits of online distribution, independent music artists are ordering more CDs than ever, and there are plenty of reasons why. Read more.

Is your project ready for CD manufacturing? A DIY album release checklist

Plan your self-released album with our DIY musician CD manufacturing checklistThink you’re ready to press CDs for your new self-released album? Before you gather your materials to submit for CD manufacturing, there’s rehearsing, music recording, audio mastering, CD package designing – and all the various promotional and sales activities which may require your CD being completed. While it’s hard not to get excited and schedule your band’s CD album release party when you get to the mixing phase, being patient and creating a long-term album release timeline will help you maximize your efforts and make your CD manufacturing experience run smoothly, rather than racing to meet a deadline. Read more.

Plan for your great headshot

CariYour headshot is the first impression many new fans and the press will get of you. If the headshot just totally sucks or doesn’t successfully convey your brand, you lose out on so many opportunities right from the beginning. And when you’re trying to make your way in this industry, you simply can’t afford to miss even one opportunity. Having your photo taken can be stressful – I know how that goes – but if you follow some of these simple tips (as well as be flat-out determined that you won’t rest until it’s right), you’re bound to end up happy with the end result. Read more.

Disc Makers Breaks CD & DVD Manufacturing Records: The CD’s Not Dead Yet

Today we announced that in October we broke two of our all-time disc replication records, proving that — as much as ever — physical media is a crucial part of any musician’s product offerings and the CD is not yet dead. In October 2012, Disc Makers replicated 4,380,296 CDs, an increase of over 600,000 units from October, 2011. This figure outpaces Disc Makers’ prior all-time monthly CD & DVD replication record of 4,013,000 CDs, which had held since 2008. Read more.

How to Produce a Flawless DVD – Region Codes and Copy Protection

How to Produce a Flawless DVDWhen DVDs were introduced, studios wanted the ability to combat piracy and control release dates throughout the world. As a result, region codes were developed to restrict where (what region of the world) a DVD can be viewed. Each area of the globe is assigned its own specific number, or region code: 1. North America; 2. Europe, South Africa, Japan; 3. Far East; 4. Latin America, Australia; 5. Africa, India, Russia; 6. China; 8. In Flight Entertainment. Read more and download your FREE guide.

Preparing Your Project for Manufacturing

Three tips to help get your project done on time and on budget:

Anyone can make a CD or DVD, but a seasoned project manager understands the planning and steps involved to ensure their discs get completed and delivered on time, on budget, and in the right packaging for the job. While each project is custom and unique, there are some universal guidelines you can follow to ensure that your project flows through the manufacturing process smoothly and efficiently. Read more…

Classic LP Covers and Why They’re Still So Fresh Today

The 1st album cover, created by Alex SteinweissIn 1938, Alex Steinweiss invented the album cover. It’s almost unimaginable that there was a time when records didn’t have covers (up until that point, they were sold in relatively plain brown paper wrappers advertising the record companies. See photo at right). Steinweiss’s idea was a huge marketing success which exploded into a new and exciting world of art and design. Now artists could explore their creativity in more expressive ways in a new commercial market. During the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s Jim Flora, Ben Shahn, Rudolph de Harak, Reid Miles, Steinweiss, and even Andy Warhol were major contributors to album cover design. Read more…

6 key ingredients for creating good photos

janisWhat do you first notice when you see a CD cover? My guess is it’s the image, whether it’s an illustration or a photo. The images on your package can make or break the design and be the difference between getting noticed or being left on the shelf. In many cases, a great design starts with great photos. The images are what “drive” the design. If you plan to include photos of you or your band, you want those photos to look professional. Read more…

Design Matters: Amy E.

K-PraizeThis week we’ve interviewed Amy, a designer from our Design Studio. Amy’s design for Kingdom Certified was selected for the Design Studio’s Catalog Cover Search. Below, we have asked her a few questions about this particular design as well as a few general questions about what inspires her as an artist. Read more…

Finding Inspiration

Finding InspirationInspiration is the spark that fuels creative work. As a graphic designer and a musician, I know how easy/difficult it can be to find that spark. I don’t see inspiration as an object to be sought out in old books or in dusty corners of the internet. It’s something that needs to be found within, nurtured, and applied to your everyday life. The good thing is that inspiration comes from just about anywhere as long as you keep your mind hungry for it, and allow your experience and taste to guide you.

That being said, here are a few places that really put me in the mood to be inspired. Hint: If you’re looking for ideas for your next album package design, these are some great resources! Read more…