1. The first thing is to ensure you are working with the apt template, keeping in mind the size of the CD case and consequently, the inlay card. Once you ensure you have the right size template you are set to start making the design, and the wrong size template can cause a whole lot of headaches later.
2. As is the case with any graphic design project, you would need to set your files up in the RGB mode for the INITIAL stages of the design. This ensure that you make use of the most suited design profiles for the job at hand.
3. Make sure you take the right decisions about the sleeve print. Does your client require to spot colors? In that case think of the Pantone color choices you would be using. Also, keep in mind that your final print would be printed on the CMYK mode. How well would the design colors come out in CMYK?
4. Now let us get down to the design itself. Keep taking a look at it at 100% zoom on photoshop to see all details and color as accurately as you can. On the other hand, look at it on a down sized version as well . Today album covers are often viewed on things such as I pod screens apart from their common print sizes.
5. We suggest that all text that you use be used in the vector formats. Do try and choose fonts that can be easily converted to the PDF format. Do also try and convert all designs into outlines during the closing stages of that part of the design process. If you do this you will not have later worries about sending copies of the design font to your printer, and therefore avoid possible mistakes on that stage.
6. This one is a crucial tip. Once you have compiled the Photoshop or Illustrator files, do utilize the Preview in something like Quark. This is even more crucial when you keep in mind the sleeve design for your CD cover. You definitely need to look at issues like a darker cover overlapping a lighter one.
7. If you have an area on the design where the text placement and accuracy is crucial, the one thing that comes to mind is the tray card spine. On the modern slim CD cases you have hardly one centimeter to work within. try not to utilize the entire one centimeter, and leave SOME room for printer error!
8. FINALLY, zoom out and get a birds’ eye view on your final image. You could have left a stray design element lying around on the edges of your work area! Next you may also want to zoom in 100% and drag the design across the screen to get an idea of minute details, and possible errors on a close up scale.