How to Make Album Covers

I sit on a park bench in the sun as red leaves fall around me. I can hear a flock of geese flying South.  I feel the exciting buzz of potential.  We spent this week making cd covers for the new album.

In my experience, albums with hand-made covers sell 1000% (that’s a real number) better than regular albums, even if they’re sold at twice the price.  They give fans something personal to take home and they’re fun to design and make.

In my old band, I designed and sewed cd covers that doubled as hand-puppets.  I thought it would be cool if the cover had a purpose other than housing a cd.

For my first solo album, I made the covers out of cloth BECAUSE IT’S SOFT AND PRETTY!

For this upcoming album, I thought I “wood” (get it!?) make a cover that doubled as a piece of art. I decided to print an image on cd-sized pieces of wood with a little hook on the back so the buyer could hang it up on their wall.

The technique is simple enough, and it looks damn good:
1) Print an image (mirrored)
2) Coat the wood with gel medium and put your image face-down on the wood.
3) Let it dry for 8 hours.
4) Wet the back of the paper to weaken it and carefully rub off all the paper fibres.  The ink from the photocopy bonds to the medium and sticks to the wood.
5) Coat the image with sealer.

We made 10 tests with different variations of the cover design and different printers before we were satisfied.  Then we went to town and printed all 120 bits of wood!

The back will have a pocket with the album and booklet, as well as a download code (cds are dying, dude, but some people still use them…)

The title ‘All Alone Together’ is a recurring theme in my life that holds lots of different meanings and I thought it could be meaningful to other people too.   So it’s the main feature of the album art.

The phrase could symbolize lonely thoughts like “We’re born alone, we die alone.  With those things in common, we’re together.”
Or pragmatic thoughts like “We do things so as not to feel alone like: love eachother, have sex, make art, listen to music…”
Or lovey dovey thoughts like “I love being all alone with you, my soul-mate.”

So yeah, album drops November 19th.