What if I want custom illustrations or spot art?

Then you've come to the right place, we not only do tight design, but we do killer illustrations and spot art (icons) as well. A partial client list here here.
Our studio site: www.roulettestudios.com
Our illustration fees for small band/label projects normally range from $300. to $1500. depending on detail, complexity and licensing use (we usually license illustrations for use on/in the CD package only but additional image rights or image buyout can be negotiated). Small Icon spot art images (max 1-inch designs) average about $60. each with limited license (many bands use small icons to represent the songs in the CD package). Cover design only with our illustration work starts at $500. (for an iconic type image) and goes up depending on complexity of the illustration and the use of licensing.
Our Illustration services are not limited to CD packages - we can design your poster, stickers, ads, t-shirts and beyond.
Just let us know your illustration needs.

What is the layout process?

First we get an idea from you what you would like to see as a package. Does the package have a theme or a visually impacting title you would like us to work from? With your initial input we'll form a concept, get your approval on the design idea, and from there we'll do the image work - scanning, retouching, cropping, and color manipulation as needed. The layout then gets the type treatment which includes font selection and placement of all supplied text (Liner notes, Lyrics, credits, thank you's, track line-up, record label info, etc.). Finally we add the industry logos & graphics (barcode, record label logo if any, Parental Advisory, etc.) and send you a PDF proof before we finalize all the files into a Printer PDF or an 'In design' file for the printer.

How long will it take for the CD artwork to be completed?

Several things dictate the time-frame of a project:
1) How quickly you can get the needed materials to us (Band photos, text, Liner notes, logos, extra images, etc.) and approve of a package concept.
2) The scope of the CD - how many pages, how complex the layout, etc....
3) How complex are the illustrations, icons, spot art, and/or photographs that you need done by us
(if you are hiring us to supply them).
But all-in-all it is safe to assume it will take 2-4 weeks total for a CD to get from the initial concept to completion depending on size & complexity (though we strive to make it on the sooner side).

What do I need to provide to you guys?

Before we start we need to get every working photo, logo, and image you want included on the package as well as all working and FINAL text (Liner notes, Lyrics, credits, thank you's, track line-up, record label info, etc.). Concept/idea sketches are welcome as well.

Photos and drawings for package use should be at 300 dpi (no smaller than 5.5" x 5.5") and saved in a TIFF format if possible. Logos are preferred as EPS (vector) files. You can submit everything to us on a disk. Please make sure we get a 'copy' of these photos and images, the originals should remain with you! We are able to scan some images for you, but it is limited to only one image per panel please. Also, if you are using a barcode, one should be obtained prior to our starting the job (see FAQ below).

Client is responsible for holding/procuring the rights and copyrights on ALL client supplied photographs, illustrations, logos, fonts, text, etc. We will NOT use copyrighted images that you or your band do not own!

Just a note: Although we do appreciate different views and ideas, we prefer to work with just one member of the band - it helps to keep the focus and energy from dispersing into too many directions at one time and potentially jeopardising the project.

How should I supply the needed text?

We prefer to receive the text In a Microsoft WORD file or a Mac .rtf text file - we can even get your text from an e-mail although e-mail programs sometimes change random characters so this is usually a last resort. It is the clients responsibility to SPELL CHECK the document THOROUGHLY before sending it to us, we will NOT be responsible for your misspellings! That includes slang! And be sure to double check the spelling of ALL names in your text as well (Credits, thank you's, etc.)!!!!

What if I want to make a change or changes during the design phase?

Once you have approved the concept and we've started in on the design, changes become difficult - but we offer an additional 1-hour of design/type changes to help you with last minute changes at no charge if you need it. We strive to deliver the project on time and on budget - but sometimes the client has major idea changes to a panel or panels that extend past the free 1-hour reworking time. We then have to charge extra for the additional time spent on the project (our working fee is $40. per hour) but any extra billing will be discussed with you fully before anything further is done.

Why is there a 50% deposit fee?

This is the industry standard. It also shows us that you are serious about the job and it protects us by acting as a non refundable 'kill fee' should you stop the project due to a band breakup or other unforeseen problem on the client end once we've started working on your CD art. The remaining 50% is due upon completion of the job (after you get the final proof but before we send the printer files).

What's the best way to pay you guys for the project?

PayPal, it allows you to use your Checking Account or a Credit Card - we have an account with them and it's the easiest way to get the job rolling..
We also accept Money Orders and Personal Checks (but they must clear before we start working on your project and the balance must clear before we release the printers files).
Credit Card Payments should be made through PayPal.
Payment should ONLY made in US $ and should be payable in USA. We will need a 50% deposit to start your work. The balance must be paid when the project is completed.

A Note about PayPal: It's safe, fast and easy to use, and now you don't have to have an account to use it. The menu option "Send Money" on their home page here allows you to pay anyone with an e-mail address connected to a PayPal account. Just enter our e-mail address and the amount you are sending along with any special details or notes. You can use PayPal to pay with a credit card, ATM or even send an electronic check.

What if I want a unique font as a band 'logo'?

Fonts can often act as a logo design and create a 'branding' for a band (think DEF LEPPARD , KISS or even the SEX PISTOLS) and because of this, fonts should not be taken lightly. Any band without a 'mascot logo' or recognizable logo image (like the PRINCE SYMBOL) should consider a font treatment to help with their branding. We can work with you to find a unique font that fits your style or take it a step further and design you a font based logo (think YES, METALLICA or THE STROKES) see the FAQ LOGO DESIGN question below.
If you just want to use an existing font, there are thousands available for use. Most quality fonts however are NOT free for commercial use and a license fee is often required. We have a number of font sets we have purchased for client use and will be glad to provide font treatments from our library at no extra charge. Sometimes a specialty font is desired (one that is not seen in print often - this helps with your branding) and we can purchase the license on your behalf. One such font site with unique fonts that can be manipulated and are not often seen in print (There are hundreds of other print foundries offering fonts as well):

Can you guys do the photography too?

Yes & No. Yes, we do some photography, mostly when prop and non-band cover photography is needed (we built and shot the prop for the SKULL CONTROL CD cover and we procured and shot the Scorpion for the CAGED CD as well as many package shots for various CDs as needed to keep the theme flow).
However, we HIGHLY recommend you hire a professional photographer for band and band member photographs as this is a very specialized field and we just don't have the right lighting to do the type of quality job you'll want.
If you do want us to photograph NON band member images (from old cars to various props) our fee is usually $150. - $400. extra for the package shots not including materials and prop rental (if you need a Tarantula procured and shot, etc.) and travel expenses (we once had to take a shot of a wrecked airplane out at the airplane scrap yard in the California desert for a CD package). Let us know what you had in mind and we'll let you know if we can shoot it.

How do I get a BarCode (UPC Code) for my CD?

Bar codes (UPC Codes) are not supplied by us, they are usually supplied by the Record Label you are working with or the CD Manufacturer you are using. Ask them to send you a high resolution bar code for use on the CD package design. Several companies offer UPC Codes at a small fee, one such company is www.cdbaby.net. Also you can register directly with the Uniform Code Council (To find out more about UCC membership, visit their web site at www.uc-council.org).

EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about BARCODES but were afraid to ask:

What if I need the art for a POD (self-publish Print On Demand) Site?

Today a lot of bands are going the way of POD to self publish their CDs, this way they don't spend a fortune printing thousands of product before a distributor is in line, or maybe they just want the freedom of total control (something a record label may not offer). Radiohead & Nine Inch Nails are two major bands that have elected to go without signing with a major label and have given a boost to the POD concept.
If you too decide to go the route of POD instead of bulk CD printing, we can handle that as well. Most POD printers want high quality PDF's uploaded as printers files and we can supply those, Just let us know what site you are using and we'll check the printing specifications to make sure you are good to go.

Can I get something in writing before we start?

We don't start a job without a signed contract - this protects both of us as it spells out in black & white what is expected. It's just good business!

What's so important about a good cover design anyway?

The thing to remember is the CD cover will help make sales to those who are unfamiliar with a band's sound - a very cool cover will make extra sales hands down (and in turn garnish you with new fans). As written in the ALBUM ART book, "Album art has become an essential part of the consumers experience when purchasing and listening to an album. Now, the design of a band's album receives as much attention as the actual recording process." Even iTunes downloaders expect an cool image to come with their music purchase.

How NOT to design a cover: http://www.1035thearrow.com/?sid=118574&nid=4
and even more! http://www.worstalbumcovers.org/?t=anon

Do you guys also do band LOGO design?

Yes we do! It is wise to have a logo that represents your band as the logo is the most critical component of branding - and an important and valuable piece of merchandising. One only needs to look at the 'Rolling Stones' Tongue art to see the value in a logo. It can be an image (like the RS tongue) or a font treatment (like IRON MAIDEN), but a memorable logo becomes the cornerstone of your visual presence.
We can design most logos for $500-$1000 depending on how much time it takes to create your design (we can give you a close estimate after we know what it is you are looking for; how complex the design or font will be) . We usually start with 3 different concepts based on your initial input. We will then do 2 revisions on the design, and from that the finished logo is crafted. Finished Logos are presented in high resolution TIFF files and PDF for print. EPS (Vector files) are extra as we send the art out to be converted. We can also supply WEB logos - delivered in GIF or JPEG format, depending on the design of the logo.
To keep your logo design cost down, it is helpful for us to have an idea of what you are looking for and how you want the logo to represent your band. The more you can tell us, the better. Your ideas on concept, color, fonts, art, including any rough sketches you can supply will all help in the process.
So let us design you an awesome custom logo that will rightly represent you and your band. 

Other interesting links:

HOW TO GET DISTRIBUTION: http://www.hiphoppalace.com/pages.cfm?ID=462
VIDEO: http://www.ehow.com/video_2378537_distribute-music.html

GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD ON THE RADIO (part of a good video series):




FAQ © Roulette Studios
Fees subject to change without notice