Twenty Eleven

ACDSleeve 2010-2018

So, this is the end. ACDSleeve is over, I had a good run but ultimately it couldn’t work forever.

Over the last eight years I singlehandedly made 88,196 pieces of packaging, worked on 918 different releases, duplicated/printed 28,918 CDs, but now it’s over.

I struggled to find an employer who would hire someone with little to no real work experience other than running a business on their own and part time retail work through college/university. I found a job in June 2017 that really wasn’t for me, so I kept ACDSleeve running in the background, which ran me into the ground a little, doing an 8 hour work day that was physically exhausting and then 1-2 hours of ACDSleeve work before and after that. It was packing orders for an online music retailer, I had no creative input and it really got to me. I managed to last at that for 6 months but wanted to try and give ACDSleeve one last go, or find something more relevant. In that job on more than one occasion I was packing up releases with packaging I had made, they had gone from where they were printed in Leeds, delivered to Manchester, where I made the packaging, sent the order to the label, who then sent them to distributors and then it ended up back with me to send out to the final customer, which baffled me a little bit.

But that’s beside the point, I left that job in November with nothing lined up, which looking back was a stupid idea. I looked for work, had a few interviews, but none could see past the fact I’d been self employed for the last 8 years or I had to spend the bulk of the interview explaining how ACDSleeve works (“I make everything, and handle all enquiries/quotes, and box up all orders, and design the packaging layouts, and check/tweak artwork, and run the social media, and…”) so I got nowhere. Then I had to deal with a death in the family in April which meant I had no time to find work. The last ACDSleeve job was sent out in June this year.

I stumbled upon a manufacturing company in July who make wooden products and specialise in super high end packaging, they could see the potential in what I’d done, and seeing what they can do I knew it would be a perfect fit. The only issue is that the job was in Warrington and I’m based in Manchester, a half hour drive on the motorway, working for myself I’d never needed to drive so had only had a handful of lessons 13 years ago, so this was an issue as the commute is an hour and a half on the train. They were happy to wait until I’d learned to drive, so I took a fast track course, which went well until I failed my first driving test the week before my start date, so I had a month of getting up at 4:40am to get in for the 7am start time, but luckily I passed second time around.

And here I am a month into a job I enjoy, my life seemingly back on track after a rough 2 years of uncertainty. The Pop-Up/Pop-Out cases are still available but I’m not too sure how long for. I’m still happy to help with any advice on packaging, just wing me an email.

Thanks for all the support over the years if you’re checking this out seeing what’s happening here, it’s unreal that this all started with an idea I came up with when I was unemployed that I put on YouTube and I’ve grown into a business I could live off for so long and worked with some of my all time favourite bands. It’s been amazing.

Tom Leggett

20 January 2011

Twenty Eleven

I’ve gone quite a while without updating anything, so here’s the last few weeks.

Firstly I designed the slipcase for the Dysneyland (now known as Sisterland so they don’t get hit with lawsuits from Mickey Mouse), this is the second run of the basic slipcase, all the sleeves are black and all inserts red. The back of the case has two slits cut out to hold a photo behind the cutout letters instead of having the photo glued into the case it can easily be removed (the blue card represents the photo).

Next up is the third run of the basic slipcase for singer/songwriter George Burl, which is also the first international order. As a rule I’m not taking on international orders due to high postage costs, but for small runs like this (/30) postage is reasonable and makes production a bit more possible. The EP is called Arrows, the design on the back of the case is hand-drawn then reformatted to be able to be machine cut. This is the first run that uses an idea I came up with a while ago to have a small window cut out for numbering a release.

Finally this is the Natural card case with an opening for a CD booklet/insert. Also, the A6 single sided flyers which are an optional extra when ordering the Natural card cases.

A few more bits and pieces will be added to the flickr page either today or tomorrow (prototypes and examples of work that didn’t happen for whatever reason). I recently picked up an A3 colour printer, which all being well means I’ll be able to offer a bigger variety of packaging formats (looking at getting 7″ packaging going) without having to travel an for an hour to go and pick up a prototype from the local printers, it should speed everything up and ideally bring prices down. Although saying that I’ve had it for almost a week and it’s still in the box, that’s my task for today/tomorrow.

We should have a pricelist by the start of next week at the latest as well.