Digipak Research A Digipak is a type of packaging for discs which folds out like a book rather than open like a conventional case, made from card rather than hard plastic and the disc is held on a thin transparent plastic tray. It is designed to be cheaper and easier to produce than a normal jewel case. It is most commonly used to package special edition CDs or DVDs due to the packaging being easily modified to hold multiple discs by being made from more panels that will simply fold away- this makes the packaging more suited for multiple disc special edition releases. Digipak is a registered trademark of AGI media who originally developed the packaging style, however the term digipack has come into common use for any similar style packaging. Even when produced by other companies or with varying materials. Digipak weaknesses include the plastic trays used to hold the disc are brittle and liable to snap, or loose teeth, more so than jewel cases and the softer card materials used for the outer packaging are likely to get damaged easily although UV coating is sometimes used to minimise this. On the right I’ve shown some CD Digipaks to show the fold out style and materials used. DVD Digipaks are the same however with rectangular dimensions, I’ve included examples of these on the next slide.
Here are some examples of DVD Digipaks. All of which have quite simple designs consisting of the artist on the front (although this isn’t entirely true for the Linkin Park Digipak, it is a strong convention) All these covers have had simple effects put onto the images, this gives it a slightly stylised look, for example the Cash Digipak has been made black and white and in sepia tones in the booklet images to give an aged faded look to the images within it, this references the time Johnny Cash first became popular, this style in the design tries to play on nostalgia of it’s target audience who remember this time. As visible in the Britney Spears digipak, the inside cover image is mostly covered by the disc(s). In many cases images are put on this inside cover. But not text or elaborate designs as it would not be seen. However occasionally some DVD cases hide circular images under where the DVD would be held which are revealed once the disc is taken out of the case. However these tend to be for comedic effect and rarely in DVD’s for musicians, more often films unless the musician has a strong comedy image.
Aside from simple design conventions Digipaks seem to be relatively simple, only having the artist and disc name on the cover, possibly with a DVD logo. Age ratings aren’t often an issue with musicians releases, however if applicable this would be on the front. Information on the back may include track and content listing, Record label information and barcode including small print on copyright information. These Digipaks shown have chosen to show logos and or artwork as the front cover, this is more in keeping with these bands styles. Also both artists are quite famous and do not need a photograph of themselves on the front for self-promotion.
Here is the CD Digipack for Madonna Celebration. Although this is not a DVD digipack like the one I am going to make this it will adhere to all the conventions. The front simply as I’ve seen on other digipacks is simply an image with the Artist name and album title on. The art on the front is done in an pop art style which references a time when pop art was more popular. There is also faint news print in the back ground as if it has been painted over, this creates a overall very 70’s style to the art on this digipack, this will appeal to the target audience of Madonna fans with nostalgia as most the them would have been fans since that long ago and appreciate the reference to the art style. This art style is also highly representative of the Pop genre (bright colours, bold lettering) As with the digipacks shown on the previous page this artist is so well known she does not need a full detail photograph of herself on the front as she will be recognised without it whereas many other artists would not. Despite Madonna’s expression isn’t particularly celebratory the bright colours still give the cover art a positive feel. The spines continue this style stating only vital information such as the artist name and title. The back has a full track listing for both discs, barcode, record label logo, and small print including copyright information. All the text on the digipack is highlighted by boxes, even the small print so it will stand out from the text in the background
This is the CD digipack for Eminem Curtain Call The Hits, The outside cover shows the front, simply, The artist name and album title, with a warning label, on a background that fits into Eminem’s strong Star Image, Referencing his other covers. The connotations subvert the genre, it being a black tie event at a theatre hall shown this is not conventional for the rap genre. However images of the gun are used which strongly connote the rap genre. The back cover has a similar image, including track listings for both CDs included. Also some small print about the record company, several record company logos and a barcode. The spines have the cover Text and record label name written as well as a code in small print at the bottom. The inside panel shows an image of the artist that fits in with genre conventions (tattoos, muscles)
The inside cover has a stylised black and white photo of Eminem being interrogated by someone, looking stressed, this fits in with a lot of how Eminem is represented as a lot of his songs reference bad things that have happened to him and he represents himself on the verge of sanity often talking about breaking the law- therefore the image is presumably a police interrogation. Under the discs both images are black with a border in the corner. One shows Eminem’s logo, with a dictionary definition of the album title the other shows an image of the artist pointing a gun a the viewer- fitting in with his usual representation. These two panels work well as images to be revealed as one is quite shocking and the other informative.
Here are a couple of sketches I did to base Nick’s logo around, I chose the one on the left as it was simpler and more relevant to music.
Booklet front: Digipack Cover image, Booklet back : unedited or black and white cover image (NB: This changed to black with small black and white cover image and Artist logo in Development as I found it worked better overall. Digipack Front: Black background edited image of artist with logo and album name. Digipack back: Images and information also record label information. Other panel: Various other images all of artist.