Today, we’re finishing up our tour of the DVD cover design process. It’s been a while but the DVD cover has been approved and I am finally at liberty to reveal the finished design!
I shared my inspirations for the cover design and then discussed color and typefaces. Finally, I talked about antiquing and distressing images. Now it’s time to put it all together in the final design. This design is for my upcoming DVD release of the 1917 version of Kidnapped.
One of the biggest challenges for this project was tracking down quality images. I don’t mean to be rude but Edison’s marketing department kind of left a lot to be desired on that score. Their ads were a bit… meh.
Fortunately, they did take some very nice stills and I was able to obtain quality scans for the project!
(When using stills for the cover, you need to make sure that you have the proper licenses and permission. Permission and rights are a complicated subject and my only advice is to contact the archive and tell them, with as many specifics as possible, how you plan to use the image and give a ballpark estimate of how many copies will be distributed. They can assist you with pricing and other information from there. Sorry I can’t be more specific but it really does vary.)
The still I decided on was portrait (as opposed to landscape), so there wasn’t much cropping to be done. However, DVDs have a back cover area. As mentioned in earlier articles, I wanted to use a subtle stripe pattern as a nod to classic ad design.
Aaaand, here it is!
The cover image is courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.
I included the template layer so that you can see that
There are certain design elements that have to be placed just so. The copyright information traditionally goes on the bottom of the back, of course. The barcode goes on the upper right corner of what will be the DVD back. The Library of Congress logo is to be placed on the disc spine and be prominently featured as the source of the prints.
And of course, there is important information to be included. Which films are on the DVD, the format in which they are preserved, my logo, Ben Model must be credited as the accompanist, etc.
In short, a LOT of musts.
Because I have a dark cover image but wanted to use a light background on the back, I used distressing and splatters to soften the edge between the dark and light images. I also distressed the text box on the back of the cover. Distressing also helped with parts of the cover image that were too bright and drew the eye away from where I wanted it to go.
I also colorized the cover image. As stated before, my goal is not to replicate a color photo but to imitate the added color that was applied to photographs and film in 1917. I chose to keep my palette subtle with brown and green from Raymond McKee and purple for his unconscious uncle. I also made sure to keep Ray’s cheeks rosy as colorists of the period tended to apply color to the cheeks and lips of men and women alike.
I created the stripe pattern myself and used the colors that were featured on the cover: purples and greens. The colors are VERY light because I wanted to avoid a Magical Mystery Tour look. Naturally, I also distressed it.
By the way, the ad blurbs on the back cover are authentic quotes from 1917 reviews of the picture.
The composition of the still made a text box a natural choice for displaying information like the director, accompanist and content. I used a wet, splattery Photoshop brush to darken up any bits of the still that were making the text box difficult to read and added some subtle distressing.
The typography of the Conquest headline is taken from an original ad.
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed the tour of DVD cover design. Once I deliver the film to my Kickstarter backers, I will be making it available for sale on Amazon. I will make an announcement once it is ready for purchase.
A huge thanks to Ben Model and Steve Massa for helping me track down stills.
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