The music release used to concentrate on one media channel to reach itâ€™s audience: the physical format â€“ and maybe a simple T-shirt design and a stage backdrop. Designers in the music industry used to be restricted to the dimensions of a vinyl sleeve or a CD case to showcase the music of their clients visually before the consumer had heard the music. Although there were some iconic and expressive designs, they were limited due to the fact that record stores would only stock packaging that was a specific size.
Today, people are now consuming media through a much larger variety of outlets. The rising popularity of the music download has brought about many new design opportunities. And the arrival of new technologies is driving the popularity of new media channels (namely mobile devices, social media and Youtube), these go hand in hand with the most popular format of music consumption today. The future of design in the music industry could now become a multimedia, cross-format experience that can connect with the viewer on both physical and digital platforms. Artists such as Arcade Fire and Bjork are fully cementing themselves in the digital era â€“ with their albums being released in conjunction with apps, interactive websites and viral online marketing strategies.