From the Assistant’s Chair: Making DVD Labels

This is an ongoing study into the mind of an assistant editor, and the various small tasks he is assigned to.

There was this heavyset kid in my high school who constantly had stains all over his shirt.  It was disgusting; it was as if he never washed his shirt.  Food stains, drink stains, dirt stains, indescribable stains, whatever they were they were all horrifying.  One day someone started calling him The Venus CrapTrap.  Then everyone started calling him The Venus CrapTrap.  Then rumors and jokes started to form around him being able to statically attract filth to himself, as if he were able to walk into a room and all of the garbage in the room would fly across the room and stick to him.  I’m sure it didn’t make his life very easy, as everyone had this unfair perception of him based on his filthy shirts.  I happened to eat lunch with him a few times, and he was an all right guy.  He was just unimaginably lazy.  But he was really smart, interesting, and an all around likeable chap.  But he had the label of being a horrifying beast based on his external appearance.  Now you see where I’m going with this?  DVD labels are the same way, the content on the disc may be awesome, but if the label is trash, it will put people off from the whole thing.

By the way, Mike (The Venus CrapTrap) now works in a warehouse.  I know you’d like me to say he’s now better than all the people who used to put him down, but he is seriously one of the laziest people I’ve ever met.

I make a lot of simple DVD labels for clients around here, in a program called Discus.  There are a few do’s and don’ts, and I’d like to share a few tips to make sure no one is giving your label a bad label.  

 

Tip #1:  Keep It Simple

I would strongly insist that you try not to clutter up your label with mishmash and too much information, make it look simple and elegant.

DO:

DON’T:

 

Tip #2:  Keep It Appropriate

Despite the subject matter of the video, if you are going to include a picture on your label, make sure that the end result is a disc that you would hand to your grandmother.

DO:

DON’T:

Tip#3:  Keep It About the Client

I know you think that because you’re making the label it all the sudden becomes about you, but remember that it is about the client, not the assistant editor in the long run.

DO:

DON’T:

Tip#4:  Keep It Relevant

Some subjects may not be interesting enough to make an awesome DVD label.  That doesn’t mean that you should try and jazz it up with something that has nothing to do with anything.

DO:

DON’T: 

 

Tip#5:  Keep It Professional

I would highly suggest if you’re handing your million dollar client the disc for the video that he spent a month working on, you should make it on an actual label making software, like Discus.

DO:

DON’T:

 

Tip#6:  Keep It Real

You should only put information that a client has actually specified on your labels.  You don’t need to spice it up with your own hype.  That’s what the client’s marketing team is for.

DO:

DON’T:

 

Tip#7:  Keep It Consistent

I know there are a lot of crazy fonts that you’ve always wanted to use, but your client’s DVD label isn’t the place to experiment.

DO:

DON’T:

 

Tip#8:  Keep It Legible

You should probably use colors that work together.

DO:

DON’T:

 

Tip#9:  Keep It Unbiased

It doesn’t matter if you object to the video that the DVD is based on, you shouldn’t voice your opinion on the label.  Just do your job!

DO:

DON’T:

 

Tip#10:  Keep It In the Realm of the Business

I know your a creative, artistic person.  And I know you love painting avant-garde artwork in your spare time.  But your artsy fartsy style doesn’t belong anywhere on a corporate DVD.

DO:

DON’T:

 

Well I hope that helps you do the right thing when you make those crucial choices in your DVD labels!

 

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