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Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork

Ian 09 Apr 13 - 04:37 PM
michaelr 09 Apr 13 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 09 Apr 13 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Bob Ruyszkiewicz 09 Apr 13 - 07:48 PM
Joe Offer 09 Apr 13 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,mg 09 Apr 13 - 08:17 PM
Ross Campbell 09 Apr 13 - 09:00 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Apr 13 - 12:03 AM
GUEST 10 Apr 13 - 04:28 AM
Ian 11 Apr 13 - 05:11 AM
Geoff the Duck 11 Apr 13 - 05:43 AM
Ian Hendrie 11 Apr 13 - 06:10 AM
Paul Davenport 11 Apr 13 - 08:27 AM
Ian Hendrie 11 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM
Joe Offer 12 Apr 13 - 03:12 AM
Howard Jones 12 Apr 13 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,shahid 12 Apr 13 - 07:27 AM
Bert 12 Apr 13 - 09:41 AM
Mr Red 12 Apr 13 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Arkie 12 Apr 13 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Arkie 12 Apr 13 - 11:07 AM
JohnInKansas 12 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM
Stu 12 Apr 13 - 12:03 PM
Geoff the Duck 12 Apr 13 - 06:25 PM
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Subject: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Ian
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 04:37 PM

Help please, how do I create artwork for a CD cover in a template? I have access to photoshop programme but have had no training.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 07:10 PM

Jeez, where to begin? Photoshop will let you do that, but its text-editing facilities are limited. If you have access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign is more useful.

YouTube is full of Photoshop tutorials. Here is one that's pretty basic. Good luck, and come on back if you have more questions.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 07:45 PM

Try this...MOTION 5 by Apple...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yPkhZ5jZ18

#1/ Don't freak out, while the program is normally used for film, I have used it to create artwork for my upcoming single...

#2/ It is NOT that hard...just go step by step.

#3/ It has beautiful fonts and effects for a PRO look...

#4/ Start with a great digital photo...

All this in Apple Mac...if you have a Mac computer, a relative walk in the park...

Don't have a Mac? Find somebody who does...you & him/her should be able to do it in around an hour.

Put it on a USB key or email it to yourself and there you go...

Good Luck...bob


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST,Bob Ruyszkiewicz
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 07:48 PM

OR, go to YouTube and train yourself in Photoshop...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 07:48 PM

I've been meaning to ask the same question, but I don't have Photoshop. A friend wanted a "greatest hits" album, and she wanted to do it inexpensively because it's mostly a not-to-be-sold promo.

I found a template through Microsoft Word, but it had a Christmas theme, so I had to alter the template radically. At least it gave me the general idea and the proper sizes.

I used Microsoft Office Photo Manager to crop a nice publicity photo to a square and change the color from grayscale to sepia. Then I pasted the photo onto the cover art box on the Word template. Then I put a frame around the cover photo, and added a text box for the title.

The template had vertical text boxes for the spine of the CD box, and text boxes on the back for song titles and credits. My friend had me add the times for each track because she said radio stations won't play cuts unless they can tell right off how long they are.

I burned the MS Word file onto a CD, and sent her off to Fedex/Kinko's or Staples to print the file on her choice of paper. My inkjet printer doesn't work well on glossy paper where there are large blocks of a color other than white. If you have cover art printed by a printing company, be sure it's a PDF file.

I have to say it worked pretty well. I did it all in MS Office Photo Manager and MS Word.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 08:17 PM

I am having some of the same concerns. I have a beautiful photo for cover of cannery shed cd..but there is a scratch in woman's apron and shirt..fortunately not in face..can this be done by an amateur in photo manager? I don't have photoshop...mg


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 09:00 PM

I used Clarisworks on my old Mac machine. Appleworks now does the same job on my current G4 laptop, and appears to map everything onto the old templates that I set up myself (I created a grid format for the text and picture items that could be deleted on completion). The Draw facility allows you to position items on a page, the Text facility allows you to fill in the appropriate boxes). As far as I remember there was a reasonable variety of fonts available. If I was doing the same job again, I would probably just use MS Word for text and fonts. It also has a page-formatting capability, and I think built-in templates.

The latest Apple software to provide these facilities would be iWork (various versions depending on how new your machine is).

I think all of the above can import photographs, resize/reshape them and embed or overlay text.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 12:03 AM

I've never found the built-in templates or the ones you can download from the guys who sell stickies and forms very "friendly" to work with, and generally just use a table in Word for smaller stuff or make a "picture" in an image editing program. I use Photoshop Elements for the image stuff but most any image editing program should do what you need unless you want to do some fancy stuff with the image on them. If you want fancy text, Word is about as versatile as you're likely to need, and you can type the text, print it, and scan it to get an image that you can crop and paste into a larger picture with the "graphic" stuff in it.

For the label to stick in a jewel box all that really matters much is that you get the right size square piece of an appropriate paper, and any method you've got handy can be used to print whatever artwork suits you on the paper.

I've generally found that I get a cleaner result if I print the pictures "to the edge" with a border, on a piece of oversized paper, and cut the finished square to size after the ink dries. A good metal straight edge and a box knife on one of the "self healing" pads from the sewing craft shops or from office supply places works well, although I generally use a "carpet knife" (i.e. a box knife with a BIG handle).

If you print the finished box dimensions as part of the picture you can either make a border (cut to the outside of the printed border box) or an outline that you cut off (cut to the inside of the box you print).

Most image editing programs allow you to "resize the canvas" and/or resize the image. You have a background color (often white) and a foreground color (frequently black). If you "flip" the colors so that what was background is foreground, and what was foreground is now background, and resize the canvas by increasing the size by the same amount each way, you get a very nice crisp border in the background color you had selected when you resized. No problem with "making marks" or "drawing lines" or other fancy stuff. Increasing width and height each by 0.04 gives you an 0.02 wide line all the way around.

Fancy borders can be made by "resizing canvas" to make a dark box around the picture, flip and resize canvas to make a light band, flip again to make a different width dark border, etc.; and you don't have to use just black and white. Trim at whichever "edge" you made the right size for your jewel box.

Note that I have found that jewel boxes do vary in the exact paper dimensions that fit best, and best fit also can depend on the weight of paper, so make a trial print first before you print the first hundred inserts, and make sure you've got it right for your boxes with the paper you intend to use. For some boxes a label that's "not quite square" may work better too (usually a small bit wider than tall when it matters).

You can also make "booklets" by printing "2 wide x 1 tall," stacking, stapling, and then folding. I find that a little extra margin, so you can stack, staple, fold and then trim the folded stack to length works better than trying to "print them to fit" since more than one layer means the paper in all the layers are not all the same length if you want even edges.

(Note that you'll probably need a "long reach" stapler for "booklets" with more than 4 pages.)

All you're really trying to do is make a (nearly) square piece of paper that looks like what you want and that doesn't fall out of the box too easily.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 04:28 AM

CD cover artwork is a job for a DTP program, not Photoshop or a word processor. I've done one in Serif Page Plus, and one in Scribus. Both take a bit of learning if you're not used to DTP.

You do need an image editor too - Photoshop Elements or GIMP or similar, because images need to be doctored and combined in all sorts of ways, but it's not ideal for the final layout of text and graphics on a template.

Also most DTP packages will produce better quality PDFs with proper embedded fonts and text, whereas I suspect Photoshop will simply produce a big bitmap image even if it's exported into a PDF file.

Incidentally Pure Music Manufacturing have a lot of helpful information and tips on their web site, and downloadble templates for all the parts of various CD packages. Even if you don't need their services (they only do pressed CDs) the information is still useful if you are printing your own stuff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Ian
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 05:11 AM

Thanks for comments so far. Ive just picked them up and will follow the links and learn. I may need further info as I intend to have the printing done by the company producing the CD's. Also I don't have access to apple mac.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 05:43 AM

I would give the same advice as GUEST above. Desktop publishing (DTP) allows complete control over what is on your page, whereas word processors think they know better and move things as soon as you add something else.
to use DTP, write your text using a notepad programme, then format it after importing into the DTP. Likewise edit pictures in a specialist editor then use DTP for exact size and cropping.
I have used Scribus which is free and does a good job.
With DTP, you do have to position boxes on a blank page, then fill them with text, colour or image. Once they are in position, you have much finer control. You can move things by fractions of a centimetre but do it by typing a number. You can make a picture smaller by typing a percentage.
Once you start thinking DTP rather than Word processor it becomes simple. The best thing is you have total control over each individual box.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 06:10 AM

I find Xara Designer Pro X invaluable for all graphic work, including web-site design. I've used it since it started out on Acorn Archimedes Computers and have upgraded regularly so the cost has been less painful.

There are cut down versions and older versions which may be economical.

A cut-down version specifically for CD design comes with Magix Audio Cleaning Lab 2013, which is very useful for tweaking recordings, whether original or from old tapes and lps.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:27 AM

Edit the artwork in Photoshop without the text.
Set up the print work in inDesign and import your artwork. Do all of your type setting and make sure that you have a 3mm bleed around all print work. Export as .pdfs and get it printed by a proper print shop. Don't ever try to set up the whole job in Photoshop. As has been said above, it doesn't handle text very well at all.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM

On a personal note, how I just hate white writing on a black background which then becomes a collection of fingerprints.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 03:12 AM

Any suggestions for shareware or freeware desktop publishing (DTP) programs that will do a good job on album covers?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 03:54 AM

You don't say whether this is to print yourself or if it is to be professionally printed.

If it's just something you're doing yourself on an ordinary printer, you can buy packs of pre-cut stationery for jewel cases and CD labels which usually include the appropriate software. It's then just a question of dragging in the artwork and inserting text. All the ones I've used have been very simple and intuitive.

If it's to be professionally printed then speak to the printers or CD producers. They'll probably have very specific technical requirements and you may need professional help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST,shahid
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 07:27 AM

highly recommend to go for professional art work designers like icopy for cd printing


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Bert
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 09:41 AM

I use Paint Shop Pro, Not that it is much different from Photoshop, just that I learned it first.

I prefer the older versions which can be obtained for free. Here is version 6

Text editing is a bit clunky, but you can always use Open Office or even HTML.

To get an image from either one, into Paint Shop Pro. Do CTRL PRT SCR to capture the image, then Edit, Paste as new image, in Paint Shop Pro. Then you can crop to suit.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 10:04 AM

I use Word, but any respectable word-processor will do enough to satisfy.

Having said that I have a very simple cutter that is basically a knife blade and a ruler with guides to keep the blade running true.

By using the rulers/guides (or Format object) in Word you can select size & location (I prefer relative to "page" it is easier), I put a faint grey line across the middle of A4, and at the bottom of the second section so I get two inserts. And 3 business cards at the bottom. I often print both sides for completeness. It requires a bit of experiment until you understand the orientations. Write 1 & 2 in pencil on the sides of paper to remind you how it works double sided. (Trust me). Leave to dry a bit if inkjet.

It makes for an insert that can be folded to give 1 & 1/3 of a leaf (relative to the CD case). I print the fold lines as well.

The only reason I choose the 1 & 1/3 is to get 2 on a sheet.
Graphics are done in Photoshop, but any paint package can produce decent images.

Put images & text in text boxes so that borders/margins can be chosen (or made invisible) and placed as floating regardless of text on the page (which I avoid anyway).

I would advise printable CD's if you can afford the printer (stock is cheap enough) because labels can peel and lift especially if left in the sun. They can stick inside the CD player and never come out! AND it is always your fault! Always.

Have fun!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:03 AM

Acoustica provides excellent CD labeling software for CD and jewel case design and printing. It is not photo editing software. Also it is not free but one can download the software and try it before deciding whether to purchase for 21.95. I think the trial period is about two weeks.

Label Maker

Photoupz is an easy way to remove unwanted objects or marks in photos even if the background is somewhat complicated. The copy I have was free and I am not receiving any nag screens. Highlight the area to be removed and the software will fill the space to match the surrounding area. Other image software can do this, but Photoupz is easy to use. It is not full fledged image editing software though. It primarily does two things; remove objects and sharpens the image.

Photoupz


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:07 AM

Another word about Acoustica Label maker. The software will read the information from the CD, provided information was recorded to the CD. That saves the time consuming task of typing titles, times, etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM

While a number of people here have given their favorite programs and methods, the main consideration is what your purposes are for making labels, and what the intended use for them will be.

Many of the suggestions can be applied quite satisfactorily if the intent is to produce a small number (small could be anything from a dozen to a thousand) disks), likely of your own performances, using as many of your own resources as possible, for distribution to friends and/or for sale at venues where you play.

If you intend to go "fully commercial" and want a truly professionalcommercial product, you almost certainly would want professional help. In this case (based on experience primarily with book publishing) you will want professionaly printing, and the printer will tell you precisely what formats, and most likely what programs you need to use.

Regardless of what programs and production methods you use, in the absence of specific instructions from the publisher/printer that will "dictate" what you do, it is far more important that you, or whoever does the artwork for you, must be throroughly proficient with the program(s) chosen than is the choice of which programs you use. Grabbing a new program that you know nothing about will almost never produce anything as good as you can do with any program you know how to drive. This proficiency is NOT ACQUIRED casually if you really want to do a good (commercial quality) job, and you likely would be better of finding someone who already knows how to do it for you if you're not confident with the program you pick.

If your requirement is a "personal issue" of a few disks that you just want to "look pretty good," you can probably get by with doing pretty much "whatever you know how to do," with trial and error until you get something you like.

Unless you have extensive experience (and we do have some here who do) my recommendation would be that you have the disks burned/produced by someone with the equipment and knowledge to do it right. CDs/DVDs burned on "home equipment" tend toward significant "customer complaints," although our more experienced people may be able to give better advice than I can on this. If you find a disk producer, they're probably the first ones to ask about the artwork since they'll probably know somebody who can do it right or who will be willing to advise you.

If you're going to have the labels commercially printed, the print shop that will do it is the one to ask about how the artwork should be done.

For personal use, make something pretty that doesn't fall out of the jewel box when you open it to get to the disk. If you can make the pretty pictures, using an appropriate paper and accurate cutting to the right size after the ink dries is the main requirement.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Stu
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 12:03 PM

I've just done the artwork for two CDs, the inlays, booklet and disc itself.

I use InDesign with Photoshop and Illustrator but it's quite possible to create all the artwork in any one of these programs. If you are going to use Photoshop, here are some tips:

1) If the artwork is being commercially printed it will need to be 300dpi. When you set your document up this is the resolution you type in under the width and height boxes.

2) Ensure the document mode is set to CMYK (you can do this at the end if you need all the filters as some don't work with CMYK, but be aware there WILL be a colour shift when you convert).

3) Allow 3mm bleed over the size of the page.

4) Don't set any type or important (not background) images less than 3mm away from the outer edge of the page (they might be cropped off).

5) When finished, save a COPY as a tiff file and flatten it, that way you won't need to send the fonts. Make sure it's a copy you're flattening and NOT YOUR ORIGINAL as you will loose all the layers and become essentially uneditable.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help, How to produce CD cover artwork
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 12 Apr 13 - 06:25 PM

Joe - try looking at Scribus for free DTP.
Quack!
Geoff.


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