CD packaging is one form of graphic design I really love (and is probably the expensive reason behind the fact I’ve never even touched itunes), but can easily fall into the range of conventionally dull. The plastic casing, I hate, and the feel and print of carboard instantly give a sense of quality. And then there are the visuals: in my opinion to often falling into the trends of A) uninspiringly plastering an image of the band or artist on the cover, as if they’re more important than the music (which, most of the time, they are) or B) trying to replicate obscure, abstract cover images that possibly reflect the abstract, ephemerality of music and the difficulty in translating it into visuals, but doing so in a watered-down, not-quite-conceptual enough way that just ends up looking pretentious.
Rant over, and this packagaing design, in contrast, is fantastic. Designed by Niklas Hessman (portfolio here), a student and designer in Sweden, this packaging was a concept for the band Vikunja, who have a well established band identity – a bold logo, and clear colour scheme, which is definitely worth checking out on their website. Integrating this identity into the packaging was really well done – the colours (although already established) work really well together, and the CD itself is espcecially striking. The inner fold of the casing has to be my favourite part – using the logo form as inspiration for the folding of the packaging works incredibly well. The concept behind the track listing, intended to be handwritten and varied with new recordings, is quite interesting, and plays with the convention of album releasing, and justifies the packaging’s focus on representing the band and their identity rather than an album theme, though I’m not sure how well it would work in terms of longevity (and considering my dislike of special edition, “let’s add a cover or two” album rereleases).
Definitely worth checking out his portfolio.