So what IS a digipak? Digipak is a patented term, belonging to AGI Media. It was created around 2000.It's typically made up of a book style outer binding, with one or more plastic trays capable of holding a CD or DVD. Digipaks were the first alternative to jewel cases, to be used by major record companies.Digipak style packaging is usually used for CD singles or special editions of CD albums. And the tall DVD digipak is used as premium packaging for DVDs and DVD sets. Digipaks are self contained and protect the disc better than traditional jewel cases. They can be covered with graphics inside and out, making them more visually interesting than traditional cases which only feature paper inserts and booklets. << Traditional jewel case Digipak >>
Text-name of band, name of album, track listings, price, bonus material, website, blog, credits: name of record company, songwriters, record producer, musicians, musicians thanks, where/when recorded.
Pictorial-picture of band, band logo, record label logo (back), barcode (back), DVD logo (back), CD logo (back), website banner (back), MPTS logo (back).
Design-colour and style to fit artists genre, unfolds, cardboard sleeve, adverts, booklet, DVD, shape.
So who releases Digipaks then? Almost every major artist has released at least one digipak. Digipaks are often released after tours, or as special edition collectors items. They vary in price and contents. Here are a few:
Rammsteinhttp://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1;-1&sku=586286 3 discs at £16.99. Includes 2 DVDs and a CD. DVD 1 contains 140 minutes of live video. DVD 2 contains 90 minutes of documentary. The CD contains 75 minutes of live audio.
The Killers, live at Albert Hall http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1;-1&sku=274673. 1 Disc at £11.99. Includes live tracks from Hyde Park, V Festival, and Oxegen Festival. Has a review of 5 stars from 18 people.
Slipknot 10th anniversary edition http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1;-1&sku=163115. 2 discs at £16.99. Includes CD and DVD. CD contains bonus tracks including demos and remixes. DVD contains short film and 3 music videos. Gatefold design.
What are the advantages of Digipaks? For the audience High level of graphic versatility. Offers more than just a CD. Less likely for disk damage to occur. Can be collectors items. Opportunity to make money selling digipak when rarity increases. Sentimental value. Customer perhaps attended one of the live shows featured etc. Bonus features audience is unable to access elsewhere e.g videos, pictures, bonus tracks. More economically friendly as most are produced from recycled paper or card. For the industry Can charge more for Digipaks than albums or singles. More creative flexibility Gain more attention from the public and possibly sell faster in the case of ‘special editions’ and ‘digitally remastered’ media Being economically friendly makes the company look good, may help influence consumers decision. Large advertisement/promotional opportunity. Can include leaflets promoting band merchandise (ringtones, clothes etc)/other bands signed to the label.
Photo examples Placebo, Meds. The cover is very plain and monochrome, but I think this a good feature as it would stand out from other brightly coloured packaging on the shelves. Normally our attention would be drawn to the figures face because we communicate mood through facial expression, however as the face has been distorted it’s harder to interpret the image. The figure is so pale as to be almost indistinct or corpse like. This is because she is not the main feature of the cover design. The band and album name is. They have been placed on a blurred strip to further emphasise their importance. The word ‘meds’ is particularly striking, as it is the brightest feature. Meds as a slang term has negative connotations, such as ‘psyche meds’. Generally someone takes their ‘meds’ to control a condition that separates them from others, lending the image a slightly depressing aura. However as with many medical conditions we are drawn into wondering about the contents because of our morbid fascination.
The dark theme continues into the artwork/lyric book attached to the inside left cover. Mixed in between the photos of the band are photos of the girl from the cover floating. She then falls to the floor, picks herself up onto her knees, stands and then starts to float into the air again. I think this is interesting and makes the lyric book more like a story or film than something factual. It’s almost like a bonus feature! The plastic tray is on the inside right cover and is transparent. A graphic could have been printed behind it, however it is just white like the back. Printing a photo of the band or large graphic here would have been a little foolish as you wouldn’t see it a lot of the time.
The back obviously continues the theme and contains all the usual features of a digipak, like the barcode, logos etc. It could be seen that the back is quite boring, but I think that it is quite thrifty thinking because it saves money not having to print much at the back, and no one sees the back much anyway when it’s on display. The stickers on the left hand corner and the big black scribble are just remnants from when I bought it at a public library sale! To link the whole package together, a few details have been printed in pink, which was used on the outside of the CD and as a miniscule dot on the front. The first thing that strikes you about the back is the large font for ‘Placebo Meds’. This is important I think to constantly remind consumers of the band. To link the whole package together, a few details have been printed in pink, which was used on the outside of the CD and as a miniscule dot on the front.