Music – Album artwork research

Here is a small collection of album covers that I felt had elements that could fit Dan’s identity, after looking through album covers from the artists and bands that he said influenced his music from the previous blog post, which can be read here. I’ll also add why I think it could suit his style and what I can learn from it. The list here is also influenced by the extra information I found about Dan, which I placed into the last blog post, which can be viewed here.

NB: Clicking on the images will take you to their source.

Alt-J 'An Awesome Wave'

Alt-J, An Awesome Wave: This album cover immediately caught my eye because it is so abstract, and also very interesting in the way the colours spill across the page. I certainly think this lends the sense of bewilderment that he would be looking for, and the colour scheme also works, as it is quite bright, but not overwhelmingly so. Then again, the Muse album cover he showed me before was extremely colourful, so that may not be an issue.

Something else that caught my eye was the absence of type. For this project I think type is needed to get the message of the album across to the audience (not to mention it is compulsory as part of the Graphic Design and Type 2 module I am studying) but I think it could be added to a abstract image such as this relatively easy. I will need to research into it, but I think that the best way forward will be to keep it simple with a background like this.

James Blunt 'All The Lost Souls'

James Blunt, All The Lost Souls: Why I have chosen to look at this one is the fact the cover is constructed from photo-collage. This may work quite well if I follow an 8-bit style, as it lends a bewildering feel to the piece, and is likely to make people stop and look into the little photographs as well as the image it creates.

Ben Howard - Every Kingdom album cover

Ben Howard, Every Kingdom: The white type has a big impact to it, making a big presence to the design and is something that research has shown me the client will be interested in. As for the image, it is strong in depth and texture, which I think helps to draw the audience into the artwork more than a flat, vector illustration would. It also has that sense of bewilderment as to the meaning of the album cover. What I have learnt from here specifically is that vector illustration for the album cover or as a background to the business card is unlikely to meet the client’s needs.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Californication'

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication: Here I was intrigued by the surrealism of the piece. At a first glance, it is clear that the whole image is confusing in the way in which the elements have been placed. This technique would work very well with photomontage, something I have just previously explored in my last project, ‘Words’. I am unsure though as to whether the colour scheme is what the client is looking for, but if I progress with this thought, then it wouldn’t be too difficult to select a colour scheme the client does like.

Mumford & Sons - Little Lion Man album cover

Mumford & Sons, Little Lion Man: This album cover stood out because although the generic style is not what I think the client is looking for, the illustration in the centre reminded me of William Morris wallpaper, something which features repeating patterns. With the client’s interest in landscapes and abstract scenes this may combine the two, if I created a repeating pattern to put onto the album cover, this may meet the client’s requirements, although the pattern would need to be decided on by the client.

Jack Johnson - Sleep Through The Static

Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static: The colour scheme of this album cover was the reason for its inclusion in this section of my research, as it features a rather pale shade of light green, fading into a deep red in the top left corner of the album cover. This blend of colours may be something the client will approve of. Therefore this will need experimenting with. Also worthy of noting is how minimal the design is, making every element really stand out a lot more than one trying to cram everything in.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium: The minimal space background is very interesting to me because of the shades of blue that are used, which I would say are a very pastel based colour, as well as the texture. This is another example of an album cover that I have picked out that I think deals with colour very well. I think colour will be an important part of the album cover because that was the client’s first thoughts when I discussed his identity with him when I met him.

Sigur Ros - Hvarf

Sigur Ros, Hvarf: The landscape element here is something that the client is more than likely to want to see in a design, so here is an example of a design that could be constructed. I do not think that the blurriness of the piece would work well for him, or the distressed feel of the piece, but if I go down this route, that will be for the client to decide.

Beatles - 1

Beatles, 1: A purely typographic album cover that deals well with differing textures and colours. Although the colour scheme is far too bright for my client, I am aware with a calmer, pastel scheme, this would start to look appealing. It is also interesting to see that textures have been bought in for the ‘1’, and I wonder if this could be achieved with Photoshop brushes. I am thinking currently that a good way of creating a landscape with an abstract feel would be to use brushes, something I have never really used before to create such an effect.

Conclusion:

With the research here in this blog post, I have reinforced to myself what the client is looking for, as well as thinking about potential avenues that the client’s identity could go in. I may add to this post over the course of the project if anything else jumps out at me, and now I will progress into designing the logo for the client and placing that onto a business card.

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