As we approach 2010, music quickly advances along the path towards being a primarily digital entity. CDs will still exist for a time until we can manufacture flash drives with mp3s on them for a reasonable rate. But for now, people are still producing CDs and designing the covers for them. Things like photo selection, font choice, CD title and layout are just some considerations to make when developing the “look” of an artist.
Even before the decision process begins you will probably have a photo shoot. When it comes time to prepare, remember that the images you produce will be plastered all over the internet, musical venues, and CD covers. Don’t let your cousin who flunked out of beauty school tell you that hot pink lipstick and a home perm are still in. You need qualified stylists and image consultants to help you if you are out of touch with pop culture or if imaging just isn’t your thing.
Even though we want to believe that the music industry is about the music and not appearance, it is still a business. Where there is money there is marketing and where there is marketing there will always be image and branding. Even if CDs do go away, artists will always need visual and artistic promotional images. The following images may be humorous now, but somewhere along the way someone told them this cover was a good idea. People really need to think about who their mentors, stylists, and producers are. All of these little decisions can make or break a career. From the stage to the writing session to the radio interview to the CD cover, every decision matters.