Almost every independent artist I know has made their recording, mixed it, had it mastered, got the quotes for manufacturing and then notice they need some artwork for the CD cover etc. It then takes several weeks of scrambling around to get photos taken, a bar code and artwork in the format required by the manufacturing plant.
It makes sense if you are going to be paying a graphic artist to have him or her do all the graphics in one go at a package deal rate. This should also mean that you will get a consistent look and feel about your whole visual image.
Search Engine Optimisation - Pick the keywords, hosting location, domain name - .com. or .com.au, etc.
Web Master - Hopefully you or a member of your band can do this to handle updates etc. quickly and cheaply.
Visual arts design by the Graphic Artist
Band costumes and stage designs
Some video for YouTube and links to Web site and MySpace - You could shoot some video at the photo shoot if you have the sets etc. already set up.
Web designer for your own web site, YouTube.com and MySpace.com.
Artwork package deal could consist of:
Web site design delivered as html files on a CD so upload it. Pages on your web site could include:
Bio for each band member. Layout around the text you supply.
Gig guide – Must be easy for you to update this.
Hi Res images page for media use on a special media sub site. eg. www.myband.com.au/media
Link to your MySpace and YouTube pages (Make sure the links open in a new window.)
Give their e-mail to sign up for newsletters. Use a service like www.MailChimp.com
Page where people can download samples of your music in exchange for their e-mail address.
Link to on-line fulfilment web sites where people can buy CD’s and MP3’s of your music.
Embed some YouTube videos of your band.
Gallery of current photos of you with fans at gigs. Include photos of happy looking fans
Band colours and other graphical themes
MySpace site design
Template for Drum Media and other street press advertisements.
CD art (booklet, back page and CD label)
for album delivered according to the specifications of your CD manufacturer. You will find artwork specifications on their web site. Don’t forget to supply the Barcode so this can be incorporated. You get barcodes from your record company or distributor.
A2 venue poster
Template for A3 cafe poster
Standard A6 size post card
A one page bio and information pack for inclusion with your CD when sending to radio etc.
You get photos done AFTER (note AFTER) consulting with your graphic designer. You and your graphic designer should come up with an agreed brief for a photographer to produce suitable photos.
You will have a list of photos that will be needed. This list may include:
Some of the photos may be of things like your guitar or other instrument, not just you.
Before you go to your photo session you will have agreed with your graphic art designer what clothes you will be wearing, what the backgrounds and poses will be etc. You may even have a sketch of what you are trying to get. The photographer will know from your graphic designer’s sketch what you want a photo like for the front cover artwork. The photographer will have a list of photos he/she knows needs to be produced. On the day you can add in a whole lot of extra spontaneous shots that may prove useful but the important thing is to get all the photos on your list.
So often I see artists come back from a photo session and have nothing suitable for their album artwork. Particularly male artists will turn up to the photo, shoot in their normal day clothes, without any props and ask: What are we going to do?
If the photographer knows exactly what you want he/she will be able to get the appropriate lights and backgrounds organised before the shoot.
Just remember your band colours, having a consistent theme etc.
NOTE: Don't let your graphic artist or ISP control your domain name. Register it yourself and keep control of it.
Web designers get too focused on the way they want the whole page laid out and often don't cater for the variety of different browsers, screen resolutions and speed of download. The result is it can look great on the designer's computer but be difficult to navigate on other computers. The most common mistakes are:
I value your feedback. Please send me your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org