It all began with the rise of the music industry in the latter part of the 20th century. Popular music started hitting the charts of each continent and so did the demand for albums that are not only noted for the quality of music they contained, but worth keeping in a collection because of its unique design. Thus, CD and DVD cover design evolved into an art in itself, as it became a medium of artistic expression. In fact, it became more than an artistic expression, but a means of building a name for the artist itself, aside from the musician or the record label itself.
CD and DVD cover design is basically a sub-field in graphic design. A method of visual communication, it uses the elements of texts and images to present or represent information. In this case, what are being represented is the record company and the musician, not to mention, the cover designer himself. This is why it is considered an effective way of advertising. For the recording company and musician, it inevitably opens the opportunity for better representation to consumers. For the cover designer, it makes room for more clients asking you to have their albums designed. While this means revenue, it also has its own set of challenges.
One challenge is creating a work environment wherein artist and musician meet both standards and agree on a design when contradictions surface. There are times when a musician and a record label want to set and create a certain mood in the album cover. But sometimes, a freethinking artist would have a contrasting idea to the original design presented to him or her by the musician. One solution to resolve this conflict is by drawing a consensus between CD and DVD cover designer and musician. Being both artists in their own fields of specialization, both is sure to understand the integrity involved in such work. Letting the graphics sing in tune with the theme is a sure way to start this.
Thematic unity aside from understanding between musician and cover artist is usually based on the mood and content of the album. Every talented album artist knows that. Every album artist also knows that themes are best generated from content. This is the only to get approved by a record label or musician whom an artist have to convince first that the or she really knows what he or she is doing. This is an important consideration to make when we realize that most of the time, album artists have a false preoccupation of artistic compromises, without even realizing that sometimes, art requires a kind of sacrifice, which is a sign of an artist’s discipline.
In this way, album art could be rightfully called an art. Craftsmanship is no longer a problem in this computer age, too. With the invention of more advanced graphic design softwares, tools to create one’s original and to express one’s ingenuity is made more easy. With such things available at the artists’ creative use, possibilities in album art as well as on its financial side have become open. In a way, CD and DVD covers can really be considered art.