From the Spiritualized CD pill pack and the Pet Shop Boys’ Very and Very Relentless covers to the One Dot Zero DVDs, Beck’s Guero CD/DVD pack and the Sex in the City shoebox box-set, we’ve seen some truly innovative sleeve and box designs over the years. It’s one area of packaging design where designers really push the boundaries, often making the packaging as much of a must-have as the product inside.
So why is this? What sets CD and DVD packaging apart from, say, food or cosmetics packaging? As creative director at Big Active, Gerard Saint points out, “Most other packaging is disposable and acts as housing for something more essential or interesting that is contained inside… CD and DVD packaging is pretty unique in the sense that it is essentially part of the product and as such enjoys a healthy afterlife.”
In addition, the fact that one creative industry – music or film – is working together with another creative industry – graphic design – means that the opportunity for great design can be realised. Chris Bilheimer, designer, illustrator and “ideas man” for R.E.M, says the two industries complement one another. “If you have an interesting, creative band, then you’re going to want to create something that will appeal to people with creative, interesting taste. In addition, musicians who have been given creative freedom understand that creative freedom produces better work.” Read more about : Experimental ideas , Indie labels , Objects of desire and How To Make it memorable