Classical CD covers: good typographic hierarchy?

As a follow up to the classical cd assignment, I found a series of covers that may teach us some lessons.

How effective is the typographic hierarchy? How can it be improved?. Does one cover work better than another?  Is this a strong series? Why?

    • Lori Kirkpatrick
    • October 9th, 2010

    The Brahms CD cover is nicely laid out. However, I think that out of the series, this cover doesn’t express hierarchy effectively. All the type is about the same size, not defining what is more important. Although, certain words are in ALL CAPS, assuming to give those words more importance, they seem to be overlooked. Well, at least I overlooked it.

    The other 2 covers display hierarchy. The Mozart cover is alright. I would change the color of the gray-colored text because it gets lost, and becomes difficult to read.

    Bruckner cover is a very easy read, and although not being able to actually translate what the type says, I can clearly delineate between the 3 different levels of hierarchy.

    Okay, that’s my opinion….

    • Good points Lori. Thanks. Any one else?

        • Valerie Tracy
        • October 9th, 2010

        I think the Bruckner CD has the best typographic hierarchy of them all. All of them could be improved with different placement and more contrast in size/type style.

        I agree with Lori about the gray colored text in the Mozart CD getting lost and losing readability. I also agree the Brahms CD has the least effective hierarchy.

        I think the images make the series stronger than the type does.

      • Thanks Valerie. What’s interesting to me is why the hierarchy in the Bruckner appears so much clearer than the other two. Any thoughts about that?

    • Beth Harper
    • October 9th, 2010

    I agree with you and Valerie that the Bruckner CD has the clearest hierarchy. With the Brahms/Beethoven CD it appears that each piece of information (composer, orchestra, piece title, and conductor) seem to bear the same weight. Even though the composer’s names are in all caps there still isn’t much contrast there.

    The Mozart does a better job than the Brahms/Beethoven but I feel that the image used confuses the eye of where to go–you look at the hands before the text. It might make more sense to use that image if the album was just piano music but it’s not.

    Compared to the Mozart, the Bruckner CD seems more successful because the image seems to recede behind the text instead of competing with it.

    • Beth you make a good point about the hands and piano music.

      I think the somewhat out of focus appearance of the Bruckner photograph provides a “cleaner” background.

      Lori mentioned earlier the hierarchy is clearest in the Bruckner. I think that’s because the black letters provide contrast to the type above and below it. And even though the type is very similar in size, the differences are most apparent in the Bruckner.

      What thoughts do you have about the typeface choice and how it is spaced and aligned?

    • Monique Miskimon
    • October 11th, 2010

    OK, as noted in class last week, I am a little “hierarchically” challenged, yet despite reading my more design inclined classmates’ responses, I don’t think *any* of the CD covers express clear hierarchy. It doesn’t matter whether the typeface is in all caps or bold or the combination, neither treatment, which presumably was used to elicit an hierarchical effect, achieved that goal. This, in essence, is the same problem I faced with my own design…I used the “techniques” that are supposed to make hierarchy happen, but I don’t think it worked so well.

    Just my non-designer two cents…


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