I agree about the Faria releases. Great artwork, and I appreciate the postcard format, but overall poor design in terms of the ease of use of the packaging. A nuisance to have to unzip that bag to get to the cd every time. Digipaks are losing their appeal. That chunk of plastic may protect the album, but the wimpy front cover gets pretty dinged up easily. The solution is the six panel, which is luxuriant for art space, but I am still aesthetically not pleased by the plastic chunk, which seems excessive and covers up some of the art. And the jewel case has fallen lowest in my estimation, a lame piece of plastic that breaks so easily and blurs out the art. The paper/cardstock digisleeve is becoming my favorite for presentation of the art combined with protective cover and ease of access to the media. Essence music is doing the most killer work in this department: http://www.essence-music.com/
. Their cover for Atomine Electrine
's "Nebulous" is the sleekest and best designed sleeve I have yet seen: http://www.essence-music.com/releases/nebulous_ess007.htm
. The printed, translucent, vellum dustjacket is an exquisite touch. This album gives me hope that cds can be cool in their own right without having the lingering chip on their shoulder of vinyl-envy. Most cds today just look like album covers shrunk down.
Another excellent package is Senking
's "List", http://www.igloomag.com/doc.php?task=view&id=1531&category=reviews
which is a kind of hinged paper mechanism that spits out the cd on a round paper tray, revealing also a black version of the cover art on a generous postcard. I am so tempted to take apart that fascinating sleeve design to see what makes it tick. Seems simple, but is very elegant. The music is very worthy of note too, by the way.
I hope things go in the direction of the digisleeve. Even a simple box style, that folds into itself without the need for glue, can be filled with a card for futher liner notes. A nice release I really appreciated recently is Another Electronic Musician
's "Five". Just a simple white cardstock envelope box with elegant letterpressing on the cover. Sadly though, the foam button glued inside came off, allowing the cd to rattle around. This could easily be remedied however, by an extra open ended sleeve or perhaps an additional card inside.
And we could talk about the hideous typography that is all the rage with the majority of ambient musicians (the very notable exception being Mr. Griffin's tasteful deployment of Futura on all Hypnos packaging).
Those bastard tribal-tech rave flyer fonts, why, where are they coming from?...