7 Dos and Don’ts of CD artwork design.

You may have to keep in mind some Do’s and Dont’s while designing a CD. A slight mistake in the bulk of CDs can cause an enormous loss of money and time. A perfect CD artwork design will help not only in increasing album sales but also in defining the music. It is a hard nut to crack since the design should reflect who you are as an artist. If you are planning to design an album cover, here are some “Do’s and Dont’s” that you should bear in mind.

DO it yourself!

No one can flawlessly define your music but you. Nowadays artists are designing album covers for saving up some money on expensive designers or want to show the world their hidden talent. Reasons can be many.

You are more than free to design your album cover. You just need to make sure you know the basics of designing and know your way around the Softwares and tools useful for the purpose. It is advisable to seek the help of your friend or anyone who has a handful experience in CD artwork design.

Professional Designing Softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign can produce stunning design for your cd artwork. The learning curve to master these softwares are quite steep. There’s a new wave of cloud based software tools which are quite easy to master and can produce very high quality cd artwork. Some of them are Canva, Adobe Spark, etc

Here’s a link to get started with Canva pretty quickly

DON’T expect it to be perfect for the first time.

If you are designing the album cover and have got no previous experience in it, never expect it come out as perfect for the first time. You may have to watch tutorial videos or read books on cd artwork design before diving into the designing endeavour. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.

A good starting point is to download the blank Artwork Templates for your media type from our website.

DO use catchy images and artworks.

Putting catchy images and artwork can grab the attention of audiences and compel them to buy a copy. This technique has never been outdated ever since. You can try a wide range of options from selecting a unique material for the packaging to provide some freebies for the audience. Indeed, a great marketing technique to skyrocket the sales of your music as well. Always take expert advice before designing an album cover. Because a cover says it all.

DO look for inspirations!

If you are running out of design ideas, browse the internet for famous album covers to be inspired. You can also visit stores or check out music magazines for the same. Note down the design ideas you may get from famous album covers and try to fit it in yours. DO NOT straight away copy the designs, always make sure you have added a personal touch on it.

DON’T include freebies that cost more than your album.

Do not go for expensive freebies like T-shirts and Funko collectables that cost almost the same as the CDs unless you have a sponsor. Only a hardcore fan would prefer buying such expensive items, otherwise a regular buyer would think twice before buying it. Adding more freebies may badly influence your album sales.

DO use readable fonts.

While preparing your cd artwork design for album cover, make sure that your band name and title are readable. Avoid using fonts that stick the letters too close, which make them unreadable. Always consult a graphic designer before finalising a font for your album.

DO check spelling.

One of the common errors is spelling mistakes. It makes you look so amateur instead of professional. Hence such small slips may sometimes cause huge setbacks on your music career. DO bear in mind to avoid such trivial yet big mistakes.

DO mind the copyright.

When you look for ideas, try not to copy other design straight away. It may lead to copyright issues in the future. Only takes the inspiration, not the whole design. And keep your album safe from copyright violations.

VP Online offers cd artwork design support and provide an error-free packaging service. You can entrust us with your next big project. Please feel free to contact us for more queries.

Music Skills to master

Mastering Music Skills have never been easier, thanks to a plethora of online resources on the world wide web. The current pandemic and the subsequent lock-down means that many of us of staying indoors.

People are running out of ideas as to how to utilise this time in a productive manner. Anyone with a musical mind knows fully well that there is so much to learn in our pursuit to being a successful entertainer.

The folks here at VP Online thought that it would be a good exercise to scour the internet for useful resources to develop our skills. We are going to use this blog to share the knowledge we have gained looking for good resources on the internet.

Below are some of the resources we have found valuable that might help you learn a skill or two.

Play Guitar like Ed Sheeran

music skills to master

The website beginnerguitarhq.com has a wonderful piece about learning how to play the guitar like a professional. And who doesn’t dream of being a rockstar like Ed Sheeran. So there you go, develop that guitar strumming capabilities and take your career to the next level. The full article can be found here.

Top 10 music schools in the UK.

Music education gained importance over time. Nowadays, more people pursuing music as a career than a hobby, all because of the wide opportunity lies in front of them. To some extent, the sparkling success of millennial bands influenced more young minds to enrol in music professions.
If you are thinking to pursue music as a career, then keep reading! Here we have listed the top 10 music schools in the UK and the music courses they offer.

1. Durham University

Durham University is one of the oldest universities in the UK, situated in the North-east of England. It holds Triple-crown accreditation and offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music.

Bachelors programmes:

Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-year degree
⦁ The course syllabus is designed for educating both traditional and modern music.
For more details click here.

Music and Philosophy BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-year degree
⦁ An excellent choice for students interested in both disciplines.
For more details click here.

Music with Foundation BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4-year degree
⦁ In the first year, students will learn the basics of music and the rest of the years follows Music BA (Hons) syllabus.
For more details click here.

2. The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester was formed in 2006. It ranked 27th in the QS World University Rankings 2020. Manchester University offers interdisciplinary studies of music, theatre and film.

Bachelors programme

Film Studies and Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ The course is designed to explore the interaction between film and music.
For more details click here.

Music BMus (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ Expert faculties and can actively participate in student-led music society that conducts concerts every year.
For more details click here.

Music and Drama BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ Helps in developing performance, writing, composition skills.
For more details click here.

Masters programme

MusM Composition (Electroacoustic Music and Interactive Media)
⦁ 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
⦁ The course will either help in pursuing a career as a composer or a PhD in electroacoustic composition.
For more details click here.

MusM Composition (Instrumental and Vocal music)
⦁ 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
⦁ Chances for work with professional musicians
For more details click here.

MusM Music (Ethnomusicology)
⦁ 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
⦁ Helps to develop advanced skills for research works.
For more details click here.

MusM Music (Musicology)
⦁ 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
⦁ Helps to develop a strong focus on theory and methodology in musicology
For more details click here.

Research programme

PhD Music (Musicology)

3. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 and it is the second-oldest university in English-speaking world. Over recent decades many notable personalities in British Music have taught and studied in Cambridge.

Bachelors programme

Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ Music graduates from Cambridge are extremely attractive to employers.
For more details click here.

Masters programme

MPhil in Music
⦁ 9 months full-time
⦁ Being able to attain sophisticated skills for research works.
For more details click here.

Research programme

PhD in Music

4. University of Southampton

The University of Southampton gained the university status on 29 April 1952. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton. Diverse categories of music programs are available in Southampton University.

Bachelors programme

Acoustics with Music BSc (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ Allows the student to learn both music and technology.
For more details click here.

English and Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ Students will have the opportunity to learn both English literature and music
For more details click here.

English and Music with Year Abroad BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4 years
⦁ Opportunity to study abroad and learn a new language.
For more details click here.

French and Music (4 years) BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4 years
⦁ Opportunity to study abroad in a French-speaking country and learn the French language.
For more details click here.

German and Music (4 years) BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4 years
⦁ Opportunity to study abroad in a German-speaking country and learn the German language.
For more details click here.

Music and Business Management BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ This course specialises in both music and business management.
For more details click here.

Music and Business Management with a year abroad BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4 years
⦁ This course specialises in both music and business management and offers one year study abroad opportunity.
For more details click here.

Philosophy and Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ The Course will help you to gain in-depth knowledge of philosophy and music.
For more details click here.

Philosophy and Music with Year Abroad BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4-years
⦁ The Course will help you to gain in-depth knowledge of philosophy and music with one year of study abroad opportunity.
For more details click here.

Masters programme

MA International Music Management
⦁ 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
⦁ The course prepares you for global business management career within the music industry.
For more details click here.

MMus Master of Music (MMus) (Performance, Composition, Musicology, Music Education)
⦁ 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
⦁ Helps in developing research-based skills.
For more details click here.

Research programme

PhD of Music Research Programmes

5. University of Birmingham

Birmingham University gained the university status by Royal charter in the year 1900. It ranked 14th in the UK and 79th in the QS World University Rankings for 2019. Birmingham University is best for music research and PhD programmes.

Bachelors programme

Mathematics and Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
⦁ The course specialises in both math and music.
For more details click here.

Modern Languages and Music BA (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4-years
⦁ Opportunity to learn French, German, Spanish or Russian alongside music.
For more details click here.

Music BMus (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 3-years
For more details click here.

Masters programme

Music MA: Choral Conducting pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time
⦁ Programme is in association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
For more details click here.

Music MA: Electroacoustic composition/sonic art pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Global Popular Musics pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Instrumental/Vocal Composition pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Mixed Composition pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Musicology pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Open Pathway with Performance
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Open Pathway without Performance
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Performance pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Music MA: Performance Practice pathway
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
For more details click here.

Research programme

Music Performance Practice PhD/MA
Musical Composition PhD/MA
Musicology PhD/MA by Research

6. University of Glasgow


The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and it is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. The main campus is the Gilmorehill campus, in Hillhead.

Bachelors programme

Music BMus (Hons)
⦁ Full-time 4-years
For more details click here.

Electronics with MusicBEng/MEng
⦁ Electronics with Music BEng : 4 year degree
⦁ Electronics with Music MEng: 5 year degree
For more details click here.

Masters programme

Music Industries MSc
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
⦁ The course provides an opportunity to explore the music industry.
For more details click here.

Sound Design & Audiovisual Practice MSc
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
⦁ Helps to develop an individual portfolio of sonic and audiovisual artwork.
For more details click here.

Composition & Creative Practice MMus
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
⦁ The course enables students to develop their compositional practice.
For more details click here.

Musicology MMus
⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
⦁ High chances to get placed in the reputed musical, art or cultural organisation.

For more details click here.

Historically Informed Performance Practice (In Conjunction With RCS) MA

⦁ 1 year full-time & 2 years part-time
⦁ Offers an opportunity to study alongside world-class performer-scholar

For more details click here.

Research programme

Music PhD/MLitt (Research)

7. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford was established in the year 1096 and it is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The university offers masters programmes in composition, musicology and performance.

Bachelors programme

Music BA (Hons)

  • Full-time 3-years
  • The course covers broad subjects of music and also allows specialisation according to the candidate’s choice.

For more details click here.

Masters programme

Music (Composition) MSt

  • 9 months
  • Offers an excellent preparation for doctoral research

For more details click here.

Music (Musicology) MSt

  • 9 months

For more details click here.

Research programme

Music DPhil

8. University of Leeds

The University of Leeds was affiliated as University in the year 1904. It is the fifth-largest university in the UK. Leeds University offers a few notable bachelors and masters programmes including Music & Music Psychology, Music with Enterprise, Music & Wellbeing.

Bachelors programme

Music (Performance) BMus (Hons)

  • Full-time 4-years

For more details click here.

Music with Enterprise BA (Hons)

  • Full-time 3-years

For more details click here.

Music, Multimedia and Electronics BSc (Hons)

  • Full-time 3-years

For more details click here.

Masters programme

Music and Wellbeing

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Applied Psychology of Music

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Electronic and Computer Music

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Research programme

PhD in Music

9. Royal Holloway, University of London

Royal Holloway became a constituent college of the University of London in the year 1900. The University ranked 24th in the UK according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. The university has got broad bachelors courses in Music.

Masters programme

Advanced Musical Studies MMus

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Research programme

PhD in Music

10. The University of Edinburgh


The University of Edinburgh was established in the year 1582 and it is the sixth oldest university in the UK. Charles Darwin, Peter Higgs, Bill Gates, Justin Trudeau, Neil Amstrong are just a few notable alumni. The university offers research programmes in Musical Composition and Creative Music Practice.

Bachelors programme

Acoustics and Music Technology BSc (Hons)

  • Full-time 4-years

For more details click here.

Mathematics and Music BSc (Hons)

  • Full-time 4-years

For more details click here.

Music BMus (Hons)

  • Full-time 4-years

For more details click here.

Masters programme

Acoustics and Music Technology MSc

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Composition for Screen MSc

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Sound Design MSc

  • 12 months full-time & 24 months part-time

For more details click here.

Research programme

Music PhD, MScR
Musical Composition PhD
Creative Music Practice PhD

6 Top paid music careers in the UK

According to the 2018 report around 145,815 individuals were employed full time in music careers in the UK music industry.

Apart from sparkling careers like the lyricist, song composer, music producer, there are various other possibilities open for music lovers.

Have you ever thought only a musician or those who have a sophisticated knowledge of music could work in the music industry? The fact is musicians receive only a meagre percentage of revenue the music industry makes. Most of the highest paying jobs are done by non-musicians.

6 highest paid music careers in the UK:

1. Promoters and Marketers

If you enjoy doing creative work, you would love this job. The main aim of a social media marketer is to promote the concert, other music shows etc through social media. You can’t be a promoter overnight. You should have a grassroots level of knowledge on the music taste of people in your area. You then need to find an artist that will help you get public exposure. An experienced person could earn £12,000 to £60,000, bigger agencies and artists could pay more. Promotion and marketing of music is one of the most lucrative of the music careers currently.

2. Music publisher

Music publishers safeguard the songs from piracy. They issue copyright contracts to use the music commercially. So one of the primary roles of the publisher is to secure released recordings, CDs, and tapes of the songs it controls. A music publisher could earn £15,000 to £ 7,00,000.

3. Media producer

A media producer supervises and evaluates the effective use of audio, video print and digital content for the music promotional purposes. They manage a set of media production services including, black & white / colour printing, duplication, binding, edit recording and processes media to variable formats (DVD, CD or data file). A media producer could earn £ 25,000 to £ 1,00,000.

4. Concert Producers

As its name signifies, a person who coordinates a concert from planning the event to estimating the financial gain/loss. One of the best qualities a concert producer should have is organising skills. For organising a concert, they could get £ 30,000 to £ 90,000.

5. Sound Designer

Their job is to design music tracks that uplift the aesthetic of films, TV shows, etc. Sound designers have got many career options, they could work as a sound designer in the media industry or in a theatre or in the video gaming field. An experienced sound designer could earn £ 25,000 to £ 80,000.

6. Video Game Composer

Video game composer composes soundtrack apt for games. In the earlier times, the gaming industry used to use simple pieces of music, but as the gaming graphics advances, there is a hike in demand for the sophisticated soundtrack. A video game composer could earn £ 23,000 to £ 60,000.

Over the years, the music industry has constantly adapted to emerging technologies. Integration of music with technologies has widened the job opportunities as well.

Author Bio – This is a guest post by Katie Mason on behalf of VP Online.