What do you do when the photo you've selected for your disc is a bit lower resolution than ideal? This is a very common problem. Sometimes images are lower resolution because they were taken off a website or a poor scan. Whatever the reason you find yourself using a low resolution, or lo res, picture, there are some ways to make it work.
In figure A, you see two disc faces, both with below average resolution in the photos. It isn't super noticeable on screen, but in your hand it wouldn't be up to par.
There are a few strategies we can enlist to combat this annoyance. The easiest is to make it seem intentional. With crisp text as a contrast to the fuzzy image, why not take it to the extreme? By blurring the images yet even more, the contrast is so great between the text and the photo then it must be what the artist intended. That is what figure B demonstrates.
The next tactic is to have fun with filters. There are lots of special effect filters available. Different programs will give you different options, but these next few were done in Photoshop. Figure C utilizes a filter called WIND. It adds sharp edges and motion lines to the photo. Again, it is the contrast between the image and the sharp text that sells the idea and makes it look intentional.
These next couple of changes are much more bold. Again, the idea is to make your image quality seem intentional. The filter I used in figure D is called FIND EDGES. It has a totally different look and isn't for everyone. It is kind of artsy and edgy and completely destroys any concern of a fuzzy starting image.
The last example I'll show you was created with a filter called POSTERIZE. Figure E has bold color and a funky pop art quality. I went and added another design element by throwing a band of color behind the artist's name to really bring home the feel.
There are so many filters and tweaks you can do with your imagery that can be achieved with just a click of a button. It is worth taking the time to rule out a few of these rather than settle for a not quite good enough photo. I hope these tips have been helpful.
I'm Donna Palmer and I've been helping clients manage their optical disc projects and meeting their deadlines for some time now. In fact, CD-Lab has been in the optical disc business for 17 years. A graphic designer by trade, I know all the tricks and shortcuts and can demistify the design process. I love expanding the knowledge of my clients and learn from every project we do. This is a place to share some of that insight with you. Please join me.