Alex James – CD Cover Design

Working on a Musician’s CD Cover Design is always a satisfying experience! The main challenge in designing an artwork for a CD Cover is to have a design that pops. The goal of this project was to bring to life a result that marries the artist’s vision for their cover art with the kind of image they’d like to establish through it.
With independent music, usually the artist is spearheading all aspects of the marketing themeseleves. This means that they may already know what they want the cover artwork to represent or look like. In such a situation, the designer’s approach needs to bring new elements to the drawing board. These concepts should help to further develop the given brief. Sometimes new headshots are needed to go with the overall art direction. After revising and incorporating a bunch of conceptual elements, the entire process takes on a life of its own!

Designing a debut release

When you’re starting afresh, there’s always the opportunity to determine the basic elements. The logo for the artist, the kind of photography that has been approved to go onto the cover art and possibly the palette.
In case of artist Alex James, I wanted to play more with a singer-pianist angle. The look was meant to represent a talented musician who is good on stage, sings and plays keys; and is a great artist to experience. Below is the set of graphics first designed to create this visual story.

Initial Concept

Shifting Focus

After sleeping on it, Alex had some ideas of his own on how he wanted this album cover to further develop – focusing less on his personality as an artist. So we decided to retain the colour palette, but played around with the photos used. A new headshot was made, and the overall image was made to be more grungey. What resulted was cover art that represented the album title “Chasing the dark” as opposed to introducing a new audience to the artist Alex James.

Final Concept

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