I recently completed a very fun project, the CD and package design for The Bent Nails, a band I have been involved with off and on for more years than I care to admit. I have always rather detested the classic ‘jewel case’, so I was eager to find a solution that was more compact and environmentally-friendly, but still provided room to feature the unique character of the band. In the age of downloads, the CD format itself may well be destined for the tar-pits (see comparison below) but it’s hard to sell downloads at a gig.

BentCD-inside_disk_smWorking with Hemlock Printers, I found a cardboard sleeve that could be digitally printed on FSC-Certified 100% post-consumer-waste recycled stock and sealed with a small perforated transparent tab to avoid plastic shrink-wrapping (and the inevitable search for a machete to cut it open after five minutes of futile fingernail-fraying frustration)

Further discussions with the printer revealed that there was ample room on the press sheet for a few more items to be printed. In a fit of design efficiency I wedged in a postcard, a coaster and two business cards, all printed in full colour on both sides. I’m sure some cutter operator at Hemlock is still cursing my name.

The result is a coordinated package of material which, thanks to the photographic mastery of Clinton Hussey, captures the eclectic, rootsy blues feel of the band without toasting too many trees.

What about the carbon footprint of the whole CD and DVD process?

cds-vs-digiA recent whitepaper on the Environmental Leader website, sponsored by Microsoft and Intel, examined the carbon footprint of music delivery methods, all the way down to the final trip home in your car. They found that purchasing music digitally reduced CO2 emissions associated with delivering music to consumers by 40-80 percent, as compared to buying a CD at retail. Of course, as a study funded by two giants of the digital delivery industry, they probably measured against a Hummer driver cruising to a cross-town mall at rush hour, buying a double-plastic-wrapped anniversary edition of Devo’s Greatest Hits complete with commemorative plastic hat.

I like to think if you took the bus to the Bent Nails Gig at the Cottage Bistro (4468 Main Street, Vancouver) on October 17th and bought one of our 100% recycled-packaging  CD’s straight from the band, the carbon footprint would be almost equal.

Production Notes:

Design: Lorne Craig, Unicycle Creative
Producer: Shelley Stevens
Photography: Clinton Hussey
Printing: Hemlock Printers – Digital 4 Colour Process both sides.
Stock: 130lb Mohawk Options Cover PC White 100%PC FSC RECYCLED
Car: The Termite Taxi – Original 1947 Chrysler Town & Country, courtesy Tevie Smith

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