NHS Designs

student work

a visual presentation of a design or page layout that approximates what the final printed piece might look like.

Click on an image below to see a larger, front-and-back version.

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

cd cover

Graphic Design Projects

CD Cover

Create a Compact Disc cover. Invent your own music band or video game!

Design the front and back covers. Create:

  • 3 thumbnail sets,
  • 2 mockup sets in Photoshop, and
  • 1 rubric.

This project will be very similar to how a graphic designer works with a client:

  • brainstorming & research
  • thumbnails
  • mockups submitted to client (in this case, me)
  • client requests revisions
  • make revisions and refine final design

The results will be shown and critiqued with the class during finals week. This final project will be worth 100 points and will count for 20% of your semester grade.


Getting Started

  • Start by researching online how music CD/video game covers are designed. A good place to start is amazon.com.
  • If you have a CD collection at home, look at how the front and back covers are designed to work together (unity).
  • Decide what your product (music CD or video game) will be.


Part 1 : 3 Thumbnail Sets (10 points, Due December 10)

  • All three thumbnail sets will be for the same product.
  • Draw six squares on a sheet of paper (three sets of two).
  • Write your name on your paper. Label the sets "front" and "back" at the top. Number the sets down the side.

thumbnail sets

  • Complete three thumbnail design sets, front and back covers, in pencil.
  • Color with colored pencils (NOT markers, which bleed and do not allow for subtle color.)

colored pencils

  • Turn in your 3 full-color thumbnail sets before continuing with Part 2.


Part 2 : 2 Mockups (20 points, Due December 16)

  • Create a folder in your home folder calledlastnamefirstinitial final.
  • Both mockups will be for the same product you chose for your thumbnails.
  • Create two "mockup" designs in Photoshop, each having a front and back cover. That will make four total files.
  • Each file must be started as a NEW file in Photoshop:
    • File > New
    • Name: (name it mockup 1 or 2, and identify whether front or back: e.g. "mockup 1 front.psd")
    • Width: 4.75 inches
    • Height: 4.75 inches
    • Resolution: 300 pixels/inch
    • Click OK.

new file

  • Your files MUST be this image size and resolution, or I will not accept them for a grade.
  • I will be available to help you figure out any tricky maneuvers or effects you are attempting.
  • The mockups must be distinct from one another, giving a client a good choice between designs.
  • When you are done, you should have four files with names similar to these:
    • mockup 1 front.psd
    • mockup 1 back.psd
    • mockup 2 front.psd
    • mockup 2 back.psd
  • EXTRA CREDIT (10 points): You may design a spine (the side edge) if you like. It should be 4.75 inches wide by 0.25 inches high and 300 pixels/inch.
    • mockup 1 spine.psd
    • mockup 2 spine.psd

new file

  • Turn in your 2 mockups in your lastnamefirstinitial final folder before continuing to Part 3.


Part 3 : 1 Rubric (10 points, Due December 16)

Complete this rubric:

  1. Right-click
  2. Save Link As...
  3. Save to your final folder
  4. Complete as directed
  5. Save the file


Requirements (General)

  • All designs must be for the same product, whether it be a music CD for a specific band and album, or a specific video game.
  • You must turn in Part 1 to get credit for Part 2, and you must turn in Part 2 to get get credit for Part 3.


Requirements (Mockups and Final)

  • All Photoshop files must be layered.
  • You must have at least one graphic on both the front and back covers.
  • You must have identifying text on both the front and back covers.
  • Add at least three alterations to each cover design. These may include but are not limited to:
    • altered colors
    • a filter
    • a layer effect or layer style
    • a blend mode
    • warped text


Turn in Your Work

Put all of your all your work into your lastnamefirstinitial final folder. Turn this folder into the Inbox.

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