Sound designs by Guy parker
How often is it we head down to a record store to buy ourselves a new record, knowing the artist’s music we’re buying, but not knowing who’s behind their visual identity? It’s all very well having a particular style of music that represents what you’re all about, but that’s half the battle. It’s then up to the designers of the world to essentially create packaging that incorporates the attitudes shaped from the music, whilst at the same time, making a piece of art. Quite the challenge. That’s why we’re going to take a look at a few of the artistic and creative minds that are behind some of our favorite record sleeve designs from recent times.
Todd Terje ‘It’s Album Time’
Designer: Bendik Kaltenborn
Oslo based illustrator/designer Bendik Kaltenborn has known Todd Terje for some number of years now dating back to the early noughties. It was their sense of humour that made them click and since then have produced music and artwork, which go hand in hand. Bright, colourful, tidy and ridiculous. The design on this album is a portrait of Todd, it’s as simple as that. Some designers just go down the route of just using a photo of the producer, or a simple drawing. Unlike them, it’s the wild side of Kaltenborns illustrations that makes them so good. He separates his mind from the reality and letting it roam free when he’s illustrating … When have you seen Todd Terje looking like he’s running a successful oil company, slouched over a piano on a beach, with a nice array of cocktails in front of him? You haven’t, that’s why it’s so great.
Nightmares on Wax- N.O.W. Is The Time
Designer: Ben Drury
Ben is a British freelance designer who’s found himself working for the likes of Turin Blakes and Dizzee Rascal in the past. One of his most renowned pieces of work was for the Nightmares on Wax 25th anniversary box set. It’s quite the task to encapsulate 25 years of work into one record sleeve, but following from inspiration of old school Motown influences through embossed foil blocks and bright gradient colours, Drury has hit the nail on the head. He described the working process by saying ‘I tried to give it a treatment that was nostalgic and forward thinking at the same time’.
Matt Whitehead ‘A is for Acid’
Designer: Jonny Castello
Birmingham based designer Jonny Castello has worked with Perc Trax over the course of a several projects, designing a number of record sleeves. But one of our favourites is for Matt Whiteheads ‘A is for Acid’. Castello works for design agency ‘Adult Art Club’ and has taken a DIY approach for this cover. There is no digital layout or format for the design; he’s just done what feels right. Through photography, collage and an abstract approach he has captured the unsettling and rip-roaring style of techno that Perc Trax is notorious for.
FKA Twigs ‘LP1’
Designer: Jesse Kanda
Filmmaker Jesse Kanda and Taliah Barnett (FKA Twigs) are close friends and worked together on the artwork that has taken 2014 by storm. Kandas work captures an aura of Chris Cunninghams approach, just type in his name on Youtube if you’re unfamiliar with him. Freaky, unsettling, extraordinary yet beautiful, they are two people from different eras that have really special imaginations that styles breathtaking concepts and visual components. Kandas followed a strong brand identity throughout her short series of artwork for FKA Twigs. Prominent full on portraits of Barnett are consistent throughout, but in particular with ‘LP1’ the dolls mask works wonders in representing the release, adding abnormality to the portrait which celebrates her experimental take on R&B.