Independent music artists have a difficult path ahead of them when it comes to the promotion of their music. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome. However, the biggest obstacle in promoting an artist’s CD is a challenge that comes much earlier in the process. That obstacle is impression. Of course, not just any impression will work. It must be the right impression. This is an obstacle that CD cover designers face on a daily basis. It has the power to declare if your product is going to succeed or fail.
Will the person holding your CD in their hands like it? Will they feel that it is something that they must buy? Will that customer go on the Internet & write a few raving reviews about it? Will they tell their friends how awesome it is? None of these questions, believe it or not, are important right now. Why? The reason is that in order to win a customer who is willing to do all of this for you, you have to be able to make an impression. That impression is achieved in one area. That area is your cover.
What do CD cover designers need to do on a cover to create the right impression?
Imagine yourself at a music store shopping for some new songs to jam in your car. You pick up a CD that catches your attention. You read it from front to back. You say the words “wow” or “this is amazing”. These emotional impacts are the good impression that a CD cover designer works hard to earn from you. It is on that note that the customer will feel that they just have to buy this CD. Now imagine yourself at the music store again shopping for songs just like you did a moment ago. You pick up a CD that is completely blank. Even though the CD is the same & would amaze you, there is no real way for you to know this. As a result, you will end up putting the CD back on the shelf & proceed to walk away.
When CD cover designers are able to grasp the customer’s heart, that is considered a good cover. The goal of any designer, easier said than done, is to capture the entire scale of the music artist’s work & summarize their talent with a cover that perfectly defines & illuminates that talent. For example, say your genre is Eastern New Age & the music artist is one that creates adventurous music, the CD cover designer will depict a cover that takes every listener on a far away journey lead by the music of the artist.
Those looking for such an escape will feel emotionally compelled to take that journey, making it almost a requirement to add this CD to their collection.
Why so many potentially successful CDs end up failing instead
Failure can simply be traced all the way back to your impression. No matter how much money you spend on your campaign to market your talent, if you’re selling a CD that is has a plain, blank cover on it, you ROI will be negatively affected. When CD cover designers work on your project, always practice the healthy precaution of staring at your cover for a long time. Do it for days if you can. Picture yourself as the customer & try to feel the emotional impact you want to have on others. Does it properly define you? Does it brand your work into an image that people will want to follow for a long time?
If you can’t feel it – that means you or the designer failed to reach out to the person holding the CD. The customer’s imagination is going to run wild when they’re guessing what your CD will be all about. The cover has to aid that imagination with a wild, direct, & passionate impression that makes it hard for anyone to put the CD down. If your cover fails to show that wild, direct, & passionate impression – then that likely reflects on the designer who lacks the wild, direct, & passionate impression as well.