CD Packaging

CD packages are fun to design, like tiny books in a plastic shell. I haven’t done that many. All of them have been for indie labels. I’ve heard nightmare stories about high-strung musicians, but most of the artists I’ve worked with have seemed quite sane and cooperative. I should probably quit while I’m ahead.

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THE SOURCE

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This CD doesn’t have a jewel case because it was made to go into a sleeve bound into a bookThe Source – that I designed. I grabbed the raw graphic from an EP by Ya Ho Wa 13, which is a rock group in said book, and edited to read correctly and fit on the CD face.

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CARL SIGMAN – Songs

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Front
This is a 3-disc set that I created for MajorSongs, which was the label responsible for all of the recordings of the late Carl Sigman. I sampled all of the graphics for the package and discs from old sheet music that I borrowed from the president of MajorSongs, Mike Sigman.

Back

Flip open.

The third panel from the left is the bound-in booklet.

Each disc is a different era from Sigman’s prodigious catalog. The graphics on the discs and in the see-through tray backs correspond to the three periods.

Booklet

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L.A. WEEKLY – Sampler Vol.2

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Front
A music sampler of Los Angeles bands produced by L.A. Weekly.

I used the look of a chocolate sampler guide page for the track listing.

When I shot these candies, I had to go through a couple of boxes. It was fun at first, but I honestly got a bad stomach ache from making the “after” images.

Tray card

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JIMMIE MADDIN – L.A. History Book

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Front
Jimmie Maddin was a legendary Hollywood jazz and blues saxophonist. I got to design this collection for Maddin through our mutual friend, writer and musician John Payne.

Back
Our budget was nil and art minimal, but we stretched Maddin’s old photos to fill the package.

Booklet

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KENT CLARK – Crimebook 1

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Front
Noise artist Kent Clark’s self-produced CD. I hope noise is the correct genre, I’m not too up on this new stuff. It sure as hell wasn’t bluegrass…

Back

Booklet

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VENICE MAKI – Which Way Is Out?

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Front
My endless hallway concept…

Back

This was the first disc produced by indie label WRC. They wanted a house template for discs and cases. (I had created their corporate identity earlier that year.)

Booklet

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L.A. WEEKLY – Found Music

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Front
I liked the idea of using tin musical toys to illustrate this sampler which was filled with DIY indie tracks. I named the collection Found Music to bring it all home. L.A. Weekly‘s marketing department gave away kazoos that year to coincide with the disc and annual music festival.

Tray card

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L.A. WEEKLY – Music Musica Musique Ongaku

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Front
I shot the art for this collection with a Holga, and processed the film and scans in a way that made the images a little older and crappier looking. Not really sure what I was going for here… hot, dirty, urban. Made sense at the time. It was summer, sue me.

Back

The camera’s light leaks and the abrupt end of the negatives broke up the digipak’s panels.

Booklet
The booklet was illustrated with more city shots done with a Polaroid i-Zone mini camera.

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—Bill Smith

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