One day in a meeting at The Purple Gates, Tony said ‘I’ve had a great remix done from Are we There Yet, maybe we should do a whole album of remixes’. A few weeks later, I was briefed on ‘Are We There Yet: The Med School Scans’.
Tony’s idea for the artwork was Soviet X-ray bootlegs, but this wasn’t something we could produce with any kind of authenticity, even on a small scale, without looking like just another X-ray record cover.
Instead I came up with an idea for coloured vinyl with a purpose (rather than coloured vinyl for novelty), and made a cover design that you have to scan with the record to be able to read.
The whole project looked great once printed – fluorescent Pantones worked perfectly with the colour-blocking idea and look super-tasty in person!
Hey look! Here is my cover artwork for Danny Byrd’s new release ‘Sweet Harmony’! It’s only a single, but it appears to be getting a bit of attention- yesterday I discovered it has been playlisted on Radio 1, which means it’s getting daytime airplay by the likes of Fearne Cotton (Fun fact: she went to the same high school as me, and was a pretty good artist. Agh! Digression!) on the country’s biggest young radio station… Pretty cool! And not only that, but Dev, the early morning breakfast DJ, has nominated it as his record of the week- Imagine waking up to that at 6 in the morning if you weren’t expecting it!
Anyway, here’s a little bit about the cover art, as I am pretty pleased with it!
I was thinking about doing something rave-related, as the original is a classic of the early 90s rave era. This got me thinking about candy ravers, which brought me around to sweets. I told Hospital about the idea, who immediately saw the pun in the track’s title, which I had overlooked until it was pointed out to me. Agh! I got to work on the idea as the visual pun was too good to ignore, but after several trips to the local sweet shop and many cover ideas using all things from red rope liquorice to candy bracelets, it just wasn’t working.
It wasn’t until the weekend, when Lilly was baking, that I found myself staring at her collection of cake decorations, thinking how much I liked the colours of them, when suddenly the idea clicked with me, and I realised the decorations were essentially tiny sweets in themselves.
To the right, you should be seeing a tiny video. It is a (very short!) timelapse I took while putting the cover together. I made a reverse stencil using the lovely new typeface Tungsten (I couldn’t resist after it was noted as an answer to Compacta, which I have been using for Danny’s artwork for a while now), which I backed with sticky labels for the sugary treats to stick to. I guess it was a bit like giant glittering really!
Sweet Harmony will be out at all your favourite physical and digital record stores on 1st February 2010.
Me being me, someone who likes to make stopmotion things and having an occasional fancy to make random flash-based toys, I decided to make this this afternoon- a virtual version of Lilly’s letterpress!
It will run by itself, but you can mouse over it to make it work yourself too! just move your mouse up and down over it!
If you know your letterpresses, you might be a little confused by the ink disc ratchet. Yes- it’s something I made myself, out of an old scrap of metal, and a cent I have had knocking around on my desk for ages (it wasn’t heavy enough on its own and Abraham Lincoln was happy to help!). The original one was very broken, too short, and not well attached, so I made this replacement on the weekend. I didn’t have a bolt of the right size though, so it is currently being held on with a small screw and chunk of wood. I’m not really sure if it looks or works anything like it is meant to, but it seems to work!
If you are curious to what we’ve been printing so far, you’ll probably find it on my Flickr. This weekend, we made our first prints with the litho ink I scored last week. Cool!