The design courses blog for BA (Hons)
and HND Vis Comm at Edinburgh College

INSPIRE - S2/S3 One Week Project

Stage 4 & 5 / Putting it all together

The final two stages of the design process are all about assembling your final design, making sure everything is exactly as you want it, and then recording or presenting it.

Helena's Summary:

Your Finished Work
At the end of the project, try to have a version of your cover that is flat and put it into your sketchbook. This could include the front, back inside, etc if you have designed those too.

You also should have a version that you can fold and arrange like a real cover.

If you only made one copy of the product, you can photograph it and then print that out and it can go in your sketchbook.

- If your CD cover is designed to fit inside a jewel case, then fold and arrange it and fit it in.
- If your CD cover is designed like a foldout or sleeve, make sure the edges all fit when it is closed.

Include a real CD disk in your finished product, it will look more realistic.


Here's a useful checklist to review what you've covered over the past few weeks.  We've included two star tips by Niamh and Holly.

1. Your sketchbook is complete and includes all your notes, sample images and text
2. Your sketchbook includes a final print out or photos / photocopies of your final design
3. Your completed moodboard

Niamh's Star Tip - Instead of putting a print copy of your CD design in your sketchbook, you could stick it on the back of your moodboard.  

4. A finished version of your CD cover, folded and arranged exactly as it would look if you bought it.
5. A short written description of your finished design and what you like about it (between 50 and 100 100 words).

Holly's Tip - just write down your thoughts about the project at the end of your sketchbook in whatever way you like.

Stage 3 / Text and Images

Helena's Video Tip:

You've researched the brief, built up your sketchbook, and made a moodboard. For the next stage, it's time to start assembling some of your images and text into sample designs or 'mockups'.   Helena's video clip takes you through thinking about type and images and how these can work together in your samples.

If you've already sketched out how your cover might look, now is the time to test it out. Your mockups can be assembled using glue, scissors, pens and also any images, diagrams, sketches and text you've decided to use from your research. Its handy having access to an actual CD disk as well.

You can make your own cover, or download and print a pre-drawn cover.  The more copies you make, the more examples you have of how your idea might work. 

Some useful sizes -
a CD disk has a diameter of 120mm (12cm). 
a CD inlay cover is square and it is 120mm X 120mm
a 6-panel inlay would be 3 X 120mm long (3 folded panels each side)
a CD sleeve (where the disc slips inside) is also 120mm X 120mm but it will need two flaps on one side to glue it closed - like this -

You can search on Google for unusual CD packaging, or look at CDs you have or can borrow, to get ideas about more complicated covers.

Click here to download some sample CD covers.  These are in pdf format. You can print these on to A4 paper, then cut them out. But drawing them from scratch is much more fun.

Niamh's useful link - 500px Royalty-Free Stock Images.

Holly's Cool Tip -

Stage 2 / Moodboards and Sketches

For this stage you can
- assemble a moodboard based around your research
- start writing notes in your sketchbook about your ideas
- draw thumbnails, doodles or diagrams of possible cover ideas
- complete at least 3 pages in your sketchbook

Niamh's Top Tip:

Sample NC Graphics moodboards from our archive:
Both of these examples  are collages from magazines, newspapers, and sketches, assembled and glued onto A2 mounting board.

This project is called ‘Inspire’.  It is all about your imagination and what inspires you. You do not have to be good at drawing or painting to do this project. We are far more interested in how you think.  At the end of the project you'll have designed an original CD cover.

Stage 1 / Mindmaps & Research 

For this stage you can
- read the brief and put it in your sketchbook
- research CD covers and music or images that inspire you
- draw a mindmap in your sketchbook
- complete at least 3 pages in your sketchbook

The week's learning materials / resources -
Helena's 'guide to starting the project'  (download as a pdf)

A3 or A4 sketchbook, pencils/pens, highlighter pen, glue stick, scissors, magazines, newspapers, pictures.

Niamh's Top Tip 

Holly's Mindmap Example 

How to put together a nice sketchbook - a great video from Ross Turnbull, who came from school onto our NC course in 2011 and then graduated with his HND in 2014.

Holly & Niamh's Inspired Words of Wisdom


Helena's walkthrough message:

Design Process

This project is organised into five stages, which together are called the 'design process', and it looks a bit like this -

During each of these 5 stages, we'll post up tips, instructions, examples and research links for you to use. They'll all appear on this page in the sections below.


The first thing to do is download the brief (pdf) >>