Today’s tech-savvy generation may think of media discs as outdated, but the truth is you’d be hard pressed to find a suitable alternative media storage. What’s more, discs provide a really durable way to store data compared to hard drives or even online storage – computer damage and faulty Internet services will not cause you to lose information stored in a disc. However, durability is not the only reason people still use CDs and DVDs. One of the most important features that you can’t get from downloading media is the design of the CD packaging itself.
For artists who are designing packaging for a CD, there are basically three things that a CD package should possess to qualify it as an exceptional design:
Adequate protection for the disc – The number one function of CD cases and packaging is to protect the disc it holds inside. As such, designers for CD cases should prioritise functionality over design. This doesn’t mean that you should forgo creativity and simply create something purely utilitarian, however – you can actually still create any design that you want, just always make sure that the design doesn’t defeat the purpose of the CD package in the end. Besides ensuring adequate protection, designers should also make sure that CD cases are actually easy to open. If a person can’t easily take out or return a disc, chances are they will not use it again.
Attention-grabbing graphics or design – People these days tend to download music and other media files over the Internet – after all, it’s the content that they want. Besides, if the packaging isn’t attractive or memorable, there really isn’t any incentive to buying a CD or DVD (except, of course, for the durable storage). Unique and highly creative packaging gives people a reason to go out of their way to purchase a media disc because this is something that you can’t get with a download. For those who are using CDs as marketing materials, design can also play a role in the success of the campaign; most people will be more than eager to check out the contents of a CD with an interesting design, while poorly designed CDs will most likely be forgotten, or worse, thrown out without ever being explored.
Environment-friendly – Besides the convenience, one of the reasons people prefer to download media these days is that it doesn’t require manufacturing processes that can harm the environment. In addition, if a CD is not being used, people may choose to simply throw it away and replace it with a digital copy downloaded online, resulting in more trash. Mother Nature is already suffering from various pollution-related problems, so the best thing CD designers can do is to employ earth-friendly measures for CD packages, such as soy-based inks and recycled materials.