Remember CDs and records and the great packaging they came in? Not only was there a graphic device to pull you in, but within the package there were gatefolds that included song lyrics and additional photography and notes. It was a treat to buy music and engage with the package. Today, we see an icon in iTunes and download the music we want. Sure, it’s easy, but certainly not as joyful. In the height of the music scene in the ’80s and ’90s, Margo Chase was designing some of the best album covers for artists like Madonna, Cher, Paula Abdul and more.
Margo Chase on the Future of Packaging
Here Chase talks about how the game is changing in packaging for online and in-store, and how designers need to adapt and evolve, or be left out all together.
Whoever said, “The only constant is change” must have been a designer. I’ve been designing packaging and adapting to change for almost 30 years. My first packages were 12-inch album covers, which quickly became 5-inch CD covers, and finally, with the advent of the internet, music became downloadable and packaging was reduced to a digital icon. Few industries have been changed as radically by the web as the music business, but today every business is feeling the impact of the growth of online retail.
Living through the changes in the music business made me wary of complacency and aware of how quickly nimble start-ups can take advantage of new technologies to win market share. Apple Music (iTunes) and similar digital music platforms put many traditional music labels out of business by developing online technologies to showcase new artists and albums in ways that utilized the possibilities offered in the digital sphere and maximized impact and engagement with consumers in ways that were unique to online experience.