How to Make CD Covers

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When making a CD cover, open up a new 4.75-inch square document, add relevant images and play with creative fonts for the name of the album. Design a CD cover insert with advice from a professional graphic designer in this free video on digital design.

Part of the Video Series: Graphic Design Projects
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Video Transcript

I'm Alexis Neubert of Alexis Design and I'm going to go over how to make a CD cover. A simple CD cover is usually a 4.75 square document that would fit into the front of any standard jewel case. Certain jewel cases have a larger trade card that fits in the back and also folds up to be the spines. So, you can measure one of those that you have at home if you're doing a back trade card or there's many templates that you can download online from various CD production houses and they're usually available in a variety of file formats. So you can download for free almost any format that you want to use in any program. For this example, I'm going to use Adobe InDesign because it's a layout program that incorporates both text and images very easily. So, here's my four and three quarters square document. I'm going to grab an image from my files to use in this example. You can just drag and drop your image onto the page. You may want to crop it and just drag the picture box guides in or out depending on how you want to crop it. If you want to reside your image, you can use the scale tool on the left tool bar or while your image is selected, you can use the percentages at the top which is usually my preference because it keeps all proportionate. Let's say you want to convert the shape of your picture box. Make things a little interesting on your CD cover. You can go to the object menu and choose convert shape. For this I think a nice circle would be appropriate. You may want to add some back ground color if you don't have an image that's filling the whole space on your cover. You can create a box using your rectangle tool. Use object arrange to send it to the back. Make sure it's the bottom most layer in your document and then you can use your color palette to pick a background color. I think black is appropriate for Elvis. Make this image stand out a little bit maybe I'll add a boarder to it so you can see that it's a circle and for that you can either pick a stroke weight on your top tool palette here and then give it a color. In order to select the stroke for coloring, you can toggle between stroke and background color in your color palette. Now maybe it's time to add some text. So for my text, I'm just going to put a color box. Add a little bit of design element here. Draw another rectangle. Give it a new color. Center my circle and then use type tool from your tool palette to drag out a text box. Use a font. I happen to have one in mine that I think would be appropriate. Choose a font size or type in your text first then you can adjust the font and the size may want to change the color of your font also in your color palette. Make that a little bit bigger. If you want to center it, you can use your palette up top to center right or left align using these buttons. You can start moving things around. Sometimes it's nice on a CD cover to have maybe a special effect on the text or a graphic. For this, we go to our effects palette and you can just double-click on the object that's selected and you have a whole list of effects that you can incorporate maybe an outer glow would give us the effect that these are glowing lights. If you click on the preview button, it'll show you on screen how these going to effect your graphics so I think that's kind of nice. Maybe we want to increase the opacity but you can play around in the effects palette for as long as you need to, to find what you want to do and then there maybe additional text that you need to add, name of the artist or the title of the CD so you can just keep adding text boxes and in the end through a little effort, you come out with a very nice looking CD cover.

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