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How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bpmford » Jan Tue 10, 2012 5:27 am

scottcole76 wrote:Question to the artists: How did you decide to do this?


This is actually a good question that I think could make a great thread!

Let's here what everyone's journey has been!
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bpmford » Jan Tue 10, 2012 5:27 am

Guess I'd better start  :x

I actually got into cover making by accident!

I live in Canada... and one of our huge drawbacks when it comes to movies is that they all need to be released in French and English. So the covers that come in our cases have everything twice. That includes the spine; even when it isn't necessary (Like writing 1408 twice for both languages). A lot of times this makes the spine of the cover ugly and quite busy, especially on Blu-rays.

So, I did an internet search with a long shot hope that someone from the US had scanned some of their covers that I could possibly print to use on mine.

That is when I stumbled across the Custom Cover thread on chat forums at blu-ray.com, AVS Forum and High-Def Digest. It was there that I realized that not only do people scan covers that they have, some even make their own new cover using imagery from the movie. I met amazing designers like Demonology, Bunny Dojo, Morpheo and dv8pdx. They were the ones that pointed me to websites just for covers: Here at EFX, DVD Covers Fuzion, Customaniacs, and Hi Res Covers.

I originally just used a few of these sites to print other people's covers, but then decided that I could do it myself. I started off slow with my Academy Best Picture set, but then made my first cover for the Kill Bill Collection using Adobe Illustrator, and moved to Photoshop from there.

Now there is no Blu-ray movie on my shelf without a custom cover on it... and I credit my entire knowledge of Photoshop to custom covers, which taught me everything.

Haven't been around nearly as long as some others, have only been doing it since 2009, but it has felt much longer.

One of my favourite passions!  :)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby ctaulbee » Jan Tue 10, 2012 5:47 pm

Kind of a progression I guess, was doing cad work in the early 90's, changed jobs new company wanted me to move to layout work, doing things like software boxes, silkscreens this type of stuff, using mainly Corel, later on I did some magazine ads using Photoshop and Quark.

Now having been an avid movie fan for years, I was on board when DVD's arrived day one, downside I can be a bit OCD about somethings ie I always hated the way my DVD shelf's looked, and as a result they were stored in closed cabinets for years.

Around '01 I discovered some of the early custom cover sites, it was like Bam!, problem solved, I was very busy back then, so I just joined the biggest sites and paid to take advantage of high quality work being done by most of the older well known artists some of who are still around.

Few years later, things are slower for me, I had time to pick-up a new hobby and this is it, was very active from about '03-'07 then I kind of burned out, was doing too much on several sites and not much design stuff, became not fun for me, so I took some time off, almost three years to be exact.

Then in 2010, I more or less just decided to do a cover one day, and it was fun again, so here I am back at it.

Doing custom covers for me is an outlet for my creative side, like writing which for me is mostly poetry, but I enjoy it all.

:)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bpmford » Jan Tue 10, 2012 7:48 pm

Hey thanks for the story ct!

You can be called one of the early pioneers then! Cool!

I kind of went through the same thing as you before customs. I would keep them in CD cases or in cabinets since they weren't much to show off, now they are my favourite feature in my house.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby ctaulbee » Jan Wed 11, 2012 5:33 pm

Plus it's pretty cool when your friends can't figure out where "that" edition or "that" series came from ;)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby ptaulbee » Jan Wed 11, 2012 7:54 pm

I've always had a passion for graphic design, I played video games when I should have been working on graphics. In 05 ct got me involved a small amount, made my first and only cover then.  :D  Then I went on the road for my job for a few years and I didn't have time or a pc during that time. When I did settle back at home I got into games like World of Warcraft and the like. Now that I'm over the hardcore gamer phase of my life, back to graphic design I go. Ct got me started again once he started showing me some of his work. In Dec. I started back making the What's your number cover, And here I am! Thanks to Ct and all those who give me advice in WIP forum, your advice and experience have been invaluable!   :)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bpmford » Jan Wed 11, 2012 9:41 pm

Nice story pt! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby PFunkAlert » Jan Sat 14, 2012 11:52 am

Wow ... fantastic stories right there! - I can totally relate to being a bit OCD when it comes to covers. I absolutely hate my collection as it looks so messy, but with customs it's so easy to get a lovely looking collection :) definitely one of the best features in the house.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby tmscrapbook » Jan Sat 14, 2012 12:23 pm

These other stories are amazing.  I plunged into cover design when my shelves became full.  I noticed that I owned a bunch of movies that had sequels, prequels, etc., but all in separate covers.  So, I decided to attempt to design some "spacesaver covers" for my own use.  I had never used Photoshop before.  Man, what a learning curve.  Anyway, I decided that my covers save me loads of space, and that there were probably other people who might be able to use some "spacesavers" as well.  Now, I get about 10 requests a week to design specific covers.

I am a retired Mathematics teacher (25 years at the high school level and 8 years at the college level), and this is a FUN hobby to occupy some of my time.  I can't begin to compete with other custom designers on this (or other) site, but I feel that my covers fill a need.

Thanks for starting this thread bpmford :)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bpmford » Jan Sat 14, 2012 12:34 pm

No worries tm, thanks for the story!
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby Lucan63 » Jan Sat 14, 2012 8:06 pm

your covers are very much appreciated tms! thanks for the story  8)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby janus » Feb Fri 03, 2012 12:09 pm

I came to start out of necessity - had the discs, but no covers!

I think the first complete cover set I did was "Columbo - The Complete Collection" - covered every series in both standard and spanning styles and R2 and R1. I had that uploaded on a number of cover sites... but if I look at it now, it's not that great - so either i've improved or i'm picky!

amazingly, 5-6 years later I still get asked for it...

I always say one day i'll go back and make it better!

anyway, I tend to focus on covers for UK shows - there is often little artwork available for the older shows... little easier getting images for the new ones.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby ctaulbee » Feb Fri 03, 2012 1:44 pm

Hey Janus, haven't seen you around for a bit, good to hear from you, thanks dropping a post in here, I am familiar with some of your work all top quality if memory serves :)
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bpmford » Feb Sat 04, 2012 5:20 am

janus wrote:I came to start out of necessity - had the discs, but no covers!

I think the first complete cover set I did was "Columbo - The Complete Collection" - covered every series in both standard and spanning styles and R2 and R1. I had that uploaded on a number of cover sites... but if I look at it now, it's not that great - so either i've improved or i'm picky!

amazingly, 5-6 years later I still get asked for it...

I always say one day i'll go back and make it better!

anyway, I tend to focus on covers for UK shows - there is often little artwork available for the older shows... little easier getting images for the new ones.


Thanks for the story janis!

Yea, I have the same feelings about my first covers! Have decided to re-do one set, but for the most part I am proud of them because they show my evolution in designing.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby john48083 » Jul Tue 03, 2012 5:33 pm

I'm mostly a scanner...I've done a few 1 off's but nothing totaly from scratch.

I got into scanning and printing cases to save space.  A 14mm case takes up twice as much space as a thin 7mm case...problem is the covers don't fit.  So I used to scan and shrink the spine manually and save the scan for printing.  That was time consuming to say the least.  Then I got a nice DVD cover printing program that lets me shrink the spin on the fly, AWSOME...been using that for years now.

I've since switched over to blu-ray.  The great thing about blu-ray covers is that they fit in the 7mm case.  So now I use a standard 7mm dvd case with an insert like Blockbuster used to have(miss you Blockbuster) and put the original label in the case.

Saves me a lot on printing costs...I'm an expert at reinking HP cartridges :).

My wall of shame has over 800 movies I think now.  I have most, but not all of the DVD's scanned.....lost all my scans after a hard drive crash...no backup of that drive....you could hear the scream for miles around.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby nichart » Jul Tue 03, 2012 5:54 pm

Funny story, I used to have 20ish VHS tapes full of episodes of The Simpsons that I had recorded off of the tv. I remember making covers for each of them in Microsoft Paint. That was my first experience with custom covers. A few years later, I got a DVD player, and bought a few DVDs with no covers. Found a few sites that had custom artwork and was just blown away, but had no resources with which to make my own. Jump ahead about 8 more years, finally got a copy of Photoshop and started messing around with it, primarily just to see what it could do. A few months later, for Christmas, my wife bought me Bubba Ho-Tep on blu-ray from the UK with those hideous UK ratings logos all over it (I live in the US so am not accustomed to them.). Something had to be done. With my limited knowlege, I started work on my first custom cover, which come to think of it, I still haven't finished.

Now most of my time on the computer is spent on photoshop. Who knew that repositioning pictures could be so much fun! lol
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby RRJR84 » Oct Wed 17, 2012 6:44 pm

apparently i didn't tell my story on this thread,lol

well i have a pretty big collection and when i first started getting into dvd's or downloading i had shows that had no covers or labels and these shows weren't released on dvd yet, so i made my covers in Microsoft paint and my labels in expressit 2.2 and they were really horrible and i didn't know what hi-res was at the time. anyways fast forward to summer 2010 i joined hirescovers and i was absolutely amazed by the quality of work, i found the site by accident and joined mainly for kernie82's comic collection. well after a few months i got adobe cs5 and decided to take a crack at it and my labels and covers were pretty brutal but i kept moving forward and through wips and tutorials and i got better. since i started i competed in two cover site battle royals as well has many site comps and a won a few label comps. i just keep stepping up my game and trying to think outside the box and look to many designers for inspiration and take it from there.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby Tripp » Nov Wed 28, 2012 7:00 am

I'm a big movie and computer fan and ik love nice sharp pictures, so here it goes.
A suitable combination.  :D
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby Mobjack » Jan Fri 04, 2013 8:48 am

I started after seeing the work of people like BPM on the blu-ray forum.  I was very impressed with what people were doing there with the custom covers.  I already had a little bit of Photoshop knowledge and it gave me a creative outlet.  I still have a lot to learn, but it is fun and I have some really great cover work by some talented artists in my collection now.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby jamshedt » Jan Tue 08, 2013 4:27 am

I actually got into cover making by accident! i live in India and at that time was
completely unaware that people even scanned covers at that time and uploaded it.
Movies here take a long time to come out and for some reason a lot of the movies released had dutch prints on them for some weird reason.So eventually did an internet search and Came across it by chance! Guess that's when i came across custom covers, where a load of people had uploaded their work and at times I originally i just use visit various sites to print out other people's covers, but then decided that I could do it myself.still remember using CorelDraw at that point in time & then eventually moving onto Photoshop & illustrator.
Guess it got even deeper for me when i wanted my own custom covers for my my personal movie collection ...
And to date still appreciate all the hard work buy all the greats for their awesome covers they created millions of years ago !!!
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby TyTimp » Sep Mon 02, 2013 10:34 pm

I'm from Canada and can't stand the french on the covers. You can't even read the spines they're covered in so much text. I started making my own so they are nice and clean looking. It's also to get rid of the stupid quotes.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby Pico » Jul Mon 28, 2014 4:49 am

I started with making wallpapers, just to have something nice on the screen when i powered up my pc, the program was Paint Shop Pro 5.00 it was in 97 or 98 i believe.

I came from the Amiga world and the pc scene was graphically pretty boring those days.  :yawn:

Had a fairly large movie collection (Betamax and VHS) and some of the covers were very bad.
That is how I ended up in the cover scene, creating a cover and stick it to vhs box  :-)  
Analog turned into binary and the DVD was born.
The cover scene than took of to a greater height and the supply of material was also getting better.

Anyway to make a long story short, there are some very bad retail covers, and i love making covers love designing and to have fun.

Why... I just love playing with ps and psp.  :D
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby bluemonkey223 » Dec Mon 15, 2014 12:00 am

I found that many of the dvd collections produced by the studios were of sub par quality, and did not include all the dvds/extras I needed to have a completer collection. soon after completing a few of my own special collections i realized that i needed special covers for my new collections. this led to making covers and joining this site.
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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby Ron Zoso » Feb Fri 27, 2015 10:35 am

I got into when I picked up a couple hard to find DVDs at a horror convention that had covers that looked like the images were about the size of a postage stamp blown up to kinda-sorta fit the DVD cover. Started out making them in MSNpaint at 72dpi. At that point, I hadn't had a computer very long and didn't know how to copy/paste, so I would do it the old fashion way: Print the images, break out the X-Acto and rubber cement, put everything together, scan it and then print it.
Now I keep making them because I'd much rather see those beautiful old movie posters on a cover than the Photoshopped head shots that most studios are in favor of.

And I still don't know how to use Photoshop!  :-O


I think this is the first cover I ever did...

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Re: How did everyone get into designing covers?

Postby kylumi » Mar Mon 09, 2015 2:00 pm

Ron Zoso wrote:
And I still don't know how to use Photoshop!  :-O







Join the club Ron m8......the learning curve is ceaseless. :-O
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