Image Is Everything! 


There is saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” For the independent artist, this doesn’t hold true. As a musician or band, your product is your music and that has to be a given.

For your fans, your product’s appearance may not be as important, but for those who have not heard you, looks are vital! You have to look like you sound great!

I remember buying an album or CD just because the art was cool. They had to sound good if their art was so good, right? The design of your product is just as important, if not more important than the recording itself!Professional photos and a professional graphic designer or artist are key to the success of your CD.

I have been in the music business for close to 35 years. When I was young and green, I thought it was all about the art. I joined a professional touring act out of college and quickly found out why they call it the music “business.” I went to “work” every day. Rehearsals, writing sessions, practice, etc. It was a job and you had to be good at it! I learned that I could have been replaced with a hundred other guitar players who would give their left arm to be in my position. Sounds like the corporate world, doesn’t it? The truth is, it’s like that and then some!

How you run your business and conduct yourself is vital to your success. Things like creating an image and branding are your calling card. Your logo, website, promotional materials all have to have purpose.

That’s why, as an independent artist, image is everything. Don’t skimp when it comes to your graphics. Hire a professional to do your artwork. Work with a professional photographer to get the look and feel you want to your photos. The way I see it, the music part is my business but I want someone who knows graphic design and art to create my vision.

As hard as it can be, let go of the reins and allow an artist creative freedom. A professional graphic artist looks at your design from an end-use perspective. They know what looks good and doesn’t. Certainly discuss your vision and ideas but allow your artist to bring that to life. When I released my solo project, I had an idea, original color art and verbiage. I gave those ingredients to my graphic designer and said “Make me look good.” I was more than pleased with the result and have had nothing but positive comments all the way around.

The professional graphic designers in the Design Studios at National Media Services create eye catching graphics…and do this all day every day! We’ll call you prior to beginning and work personally with you to create the look you want. The majority of the samples in our catalog and on our website were created in house.
Best of all, our prices are up to HALF of what the competition charges!
Call me today to discuss your next project. Mark Tobolsky (540)635-4181 ext 241.

Christmas in July?

The holidays have passed and we’re already into Spring, but that’s not the case in the studio business! The Upper Room Studios are already booked with artists and bands, several of whom are recording their Christmas CDs! 

If you’re thinking about putting out a holiday CD, NOW is the time to start planning and getting it done. 
This is not something to think about next Fall. You want this in the bag and ready to hit the market by October at the latest! 

Some tips to make this happen. 

As always, make a comprehensive list 
of songs you plan to record. Research the music you plan to record — there are many songs that are public domain, but most will require permissions and/or mechanical licenses for physical copies and downloads. 

Practice, practice, practice, 
and when you think you’ve practiced enough, practice some more. The studio is no place to rehearse. 

And it’s always wise to arrive early for set up.
 Have more songs prepared than you’ll need, as you always want to have an alternative or extra track if needed. 

The Upper Room Studios at National Media Services is located at our manufacturing facility in Front Royal Virginia. Our Award Winning Chief Engineer/Studio Manager Will Shenk has literally works on hundreds and hundreds of projects and will personally discuss your project with you and help you to produce the best possible product.  

It’s All About The COLOR

Professional printing presses, like the HP Indigo 3550 Digital Offset Printer that National Media Services uses, print in CMYK color mode. 

What that means is that the four primary colors, C= Cyan, M=Magenta, Y=Yellow and K=Key (Black) are used in varying intensities to give you glorious full color printing. What you see on a computer screen is RGB color mode. R=Red, G=Green and B=Blue. It mixes these three colors to achieve full color. The differences between the two can be striking, so always design your project in CMYK color mode. 

At National Media Services, we know the importance of color and our press operators use the utmost in care to make sure your project prints correctly. We don’t gang run your print with other orders, so your project’s color won’t be compromised. 

National Media Services is the only CD manufacturer that offers an actual physical press proof of your product so there is no guessing what it will look or sound like!