Music-making man-machine Logistics’ third album (well, fourth if you count a digital-only album) Crash Bang Wallop! is hitting stores, shelves and record players worldwide next month, so as this blog is now somewhat alive again, here is a little bit about the process of creating this album’s arwork.
This project started in typically late-notice fashion (ah, my topsy-turvy relationship with underground music), as while the project was mentioned several weeks prior, there wasn’t a title until mid-July. This meant a fast schedule, and the project came a long way in a short time.
As is usual in the world of Trickartt, the design process began with a chat with the client and a bunch of friendly, yellow Post-it Notes. The title ‘Crash, Bang, Wallop!’ was finally decided on, and the art direction of comic-book-action / Roy Lichtenstein pop-art was given by Chris Goss at Hospital. Never being a big reader of comic books, watching some 1960s episodes of Batman was as good a starting point as any.
This didn’t get the project very far, but after a few scrawls on some Post-its, some ideas emerged.
These were too much like a beano annual and too camp, so it was back to the drawing board.
Some searching through the artwork of Lichtenstein offered more inspiration, so some more scratching around on post-its got something a little more civilised.
Here was a contender here that could’ve taken us somewhere, but it didn’t. Time was racing by and at this point, there was an album title without finalised cover concepts, and the Promo department were in need of some press photos. We called up Andrew Attah and discussed the project.
Somehow, between myself, Andrew, Logistics and Hospital, we arrived at the concept of simulating a car crash, and chose to meet with Logistics at Westfield car park in White City to see what could be done. After arriving, Logistics explained he doesn’t actually know how to drive, but through some camera wizardry, Andrew managed to make the images work, and the promo department got their press photos.
In the mean time, Chris at Hospital had been doing some research of his own, and found this piece of Art, which was used as a massive starting point for what we came up with.
It didn’t take long to get something out of this, but it needed something more to make it a finished album cover, rather than just some text on a picture. The only way this idea was going to work is if it was actually a real piece of art, so after getting the materials together, the weekend was spent making a stretcher and got painting.
Several ideas of where to put the artist name were toyed with, amongst which was the idea of having his name on the painting like a signature (as pictured above), but our favourite idea by far was a tag next to the painting, gallery style.
By the time the painting was finished, The clients had made a daring decision to axe the artist name from the cover, and the painting was approved.
Andrew Attah was called back to come and shoot the cover, so he hurtled down the motorway to Trickartt HQ in Rickmansworth, armed with all kinds of camera equipment and lighting.
The cover was shot in fine style, and Andrew got a few more imaginative snaps to use throughout the rest of the artwork, like the nice shallow depth of field affair used in the CD booklet, pictured below.
The album cover may have been done, but there was still more work to be finished. The theme for the supporting design was Art, picking back up on the earlier idea of the title/artists/media tag from earlier. The typeface Chapparal was chosen for its art sensibilities, and a cool, off-white palette was used to enforce the gallery aesthetic.
Next was the Launch Party flyer, which was similarly done in a gallery style.
Then came the website. This is based on a wordpress install with a custom theme designed to match the album artwork. The site is integrated with Twitter and Flickr, so users can follow the very latest on Logistics as he tours the world promoting this album, even when he isn’t at a keyboard to write a full blog post. Users can comment on posts, subscribe to RSS feeds, and the Promotions team can update followers with all the latest on the world of Logistics.
With the site finished and live, the project is all tied up. The album is out on four-piece vinyl and Digital Download from all good stores on September 14th, and the CD follows on September 28th, on Hospital Records.