This project was my first time freelancing, and allowed me to practice creating print ready documents, working with supplied templates and designing to strict requirements.
The client already had a designed front and back to the album, leaving me to design the CD booklet and the CD itself. I found it quite difficult to work with existing artwork and design, as there were things I would personally do differently if I designed the covers myself. I also needed to find a font that looked similar to the font used on the cover, as this was saved as a jpeg., and the font used was not known. However, this was more realistic, as I am used to working on a full project myself, so it was good practice.
The pre-designed front and back covers of the album
Freelancing was quite different to University based projects, as it was the first time working with someone who was not a design professional. This meant certain things, such as asking for files in specific ways, were different compared to working with lecturers, again giving me a more realistic idea of client to designer communication in a professional setting.
Another barrier I had to overcome was printing. Usually, I print all my own design work, setting up the files in a way which is suitable for our own printers and printing standards. However, my client was using a print company in Poland, and language barriers and different printing standards made it slightly problematic, especially as an issue arose with the barcode used on the pre-provided jpeg. back cover which was uneditable. However, all issues were finally resolved and the album is available to purchase.
For the design of the booklet, I had some specific requirements from the client. He wanted the background to be black, the text to be white and for it all to be in caps. At first, I was not sure how well all caps would work in a very small point size, as they take up more space than lower case, so I wanted to make sure I presented both sentence case and all caps versions to the client. As the point size had to be a maximum of 6pt in order to fit all the content in, I knew it was important to ensure the weight was heavy enough for the text to stand out.
Specific design guidelines allowed me to focus on microtypography and spacing
I also felt that a subtle texture would work well behind the text, as it would add more visual interest to the page, as well as tying in with the strong textures on the cover and back cover: the grass and the texture of the shirt and frame. Although I knew it was not what the client had specifically asked for, I was confident that when presenting the two options side by side, that the textured design looked more appealing and professional.
The same design, the left with a plain black background, while the right had a subtle bark like texture in the background.
Although I personally preferred the lower case version, as the point size could be slightly bigger, the client knew what they wanted and stuck with the all caps, but on the textured background. Seeing it completed and printed out, I feel it is still readable and does work well. From that, I then designed the CD artwork, which was more straight forward as it could be designed to match the booklet style.
Working with Dan for his album was a really good experience as he was patient and understanding, and seeing the final physical album made it all worth it. You can purchase Dan's music here.
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