How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art

Written by marcy burlock
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How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art
Designing your own CD cover can be cost effective. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Whether you need a CD cover for a project, music CD or family pictures, designing just the right cover will give your work the right feel. While it's easy to download album covers from iTunes, you might wish to have original artwork done, or design your own. A wide variety of options available for you to use abound on the Internet. You can also use your own graphic design program like Paint, or Gimp among many programs for photographs or original artwork and create fantastic CD covers of your own.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • CD
  • Artwork
  • Photograph
  • Graphic Design Software

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  1. 1

    Create your cover using a graphic design software program. Programs such as Adobe Photoshop CS, Corel Draw or Gimp can help you create beautiful and original artwork for your cover. You can also alter photographs by lightening, or adding effects (see ref. 1).

    How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art
    Design your cover using a graphic design program. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Create your cover by hiring a graphics design firm. With sites like Elance, and Music Biz Academy, you can find qualified and competitively priced designers to help you create the look you want (see ref. 2).

    How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art
    Find a graphic designer online at Elance or Music Biz Academy. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)
  3. 3

    Print out your own CD cover using a downloaded program such as DVD and CD Cover Print, or Nero. Many of these programs are free to download, and will print out the right size for any CD jewel case (see ref. 3).

    How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art
    Print out your designs at home. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Create your cover using an online service such as Cafepress' On Demand CDs and DVDs. You simply create the cover you want, using photographs or artwork, and upload the file to Cafepress. The site takes care of printing, mounting and then shipping you the completed product (see ref. 4).

    How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art
    Use an online service to create your CD cover. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)
  5. 5

    Copyright your work and add a barcode if you wish to sell your CD. For a small fee, Cdbaby will add a barcode to your cover, which will enable you to sell your CD online or in stores (see ref. 1).

    How to Make Your Own CD Cover Art
    Add a barcode if you wish to sell your CD. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure any file you upload to an online site is at least 300 dots per inch.
  • Also, select photos that are either in the public domain, you took yourself, or have permission to use them. This goes for artwork too. This will help avoid any possible copyright infringement.
  • Do not use artwork or photographs that are copyright protected that you do not have permission to use. This is especially important if you intend to sell your CD.

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