Packaging

I’m continuing to puzzle on the Kickstarter for a Broadcast studio cast album.

In Kickstarter, people can buy into your project at various levels—different amounts of money will get you rewards ranging from thank you cards to invitations to exclusive events and more.

I thought about how, these days, we primarily buy our music digitally. So a digital download of our recording would be the “standard” purchase.

A physical CD will also (theoretically) be available, but what could be done to increase its value, so that it doesn’t just feel outdated, but truly special. My first thought went to packing—for example, a letterpressed CD case would have that special, handcrafted feeling that would set it apart.

So I went online to look at letterpress companies that do CD cases.

There’s THIS ONE:

package 1

And… what I realized was that I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, the pictures were pretty, but there are thousands of different kinds of paper and inks to choose from, not to mention all of the different kinds of CD case layouts.

So I went to an expert: a graphic designer who works with me at UncommonGoods named Hannelore McElheny. Hannelore happens to be knowledgeable in the areas of both letterpress and package design.

Hannelore said my instincts were correct, and that the packaging could really elevate my CDs to be something unique. She liked the letterpress idea, but also had a much wilder notion. She suggested packaging the CDs within some kind of found object. She didn’t know this is a musical about radio, so her suggestions included a vintage wooden box, cigarette case or handbag.

I immediately headed over to eBay, wondering what kind of radio collectible could be used to package a CD.

Believe it or not, I found these—which would be glorious.

package 2

That is an old radio loudspeaker. Can you imagine receiving a CD packaged in something so glorious? Sadly, there are not many of this kind of thing available, and they can get pretty pricey.

But some further searching took me down the rabbit hole of “portable tube radios”, and I think they have some potential as well.

package 3

How charming is that?! I don’t have any idea yet how you would actually use it to house a CD, but what better home for a musical about the history of radio?

Then I found this one:

package 4

The question remains, though, just how to convert something into packaging for a radio? And what is it that needs to be done to them that “elevates” them, and makes them different from just buying one of these things on eBay for yourself?

What do you think would transform these old radios into must-have, collectible presentation cases?

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