Packaging Innovation
January 15, 2014

Creative CD packaging design: the art of the limited edition deluxe box set

In order to sell more albums record companies often come up with deluxe box set editions of a particular release. These limited editions do really well with fans, wanting to own everything of their favorite band or artist. Limited editions are also quite popular during the holiday season when people are happy to pay a couple of extra dollars to get that one special present for their loved one. As the examples here point out creative CD packaging seems to be an art in itself.

Band loyalty vs brand equity

In CD packaging more or less the same rules apply as in other product categories. The only notable difference being that brand equity is replaced by band loyalty. Yet catching the consumer’s attention is more or less subject to the same laws of marketing.

Designers and art directors try to come up with creative CD packaging to grab the consumer’s attention in the store. Standing out is what matters, whether that’s achieved by an original cover photo or by the CD packaging design itself doesn’t really matter. It’s apparent though that some bands and record labels are indeed very original when it comes to packaging. Indeed, in some cases the album is more worth the look than the listen.

Daft Punk’s creative CD packaging design

creative cd packagingOne of the most recent and stunning deluxe box set editions is by French band Daft Punk, who came up with a truly creative CD packaging design for their album Random Access Memories. Fans willing to spend $275 get a cloth-bound package stamped with the Random Access Memories logo in gold foil, a double vinyl edition of the album, a 56 page cloth-bound, a hardcover photo book, two sets of robot helmet design schematics, a pair of full body robot design schematic posters, a film strip and two reusable USB drives containing audio and video of the band.

Radiohead’s Map and Newpaper deluxe packaging editions

Another band that have proven to be creative in their CD packaging design over the last years is Radiohead. For their latest release the band came up with a special Newspaper edition of The King of Limbs, while a couple of years ago the special edition issue of Hail to the Thief was released as a colorful city map.

With physical record sales nose-diving rapidly as a result of (illegal) internet downloads bands and record companies are desperately seeking new ways to engage fans. Including all sorts of extra, non-music related content and coming up with creative luxury packaging for their CD’s seems to be the way forward for some bands.