We’ve worked with Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles on several projects in the past, so we were quite enthusiastic to work on her brand new, solo record. Radio Sweetheart was crowd-funded by her loyal fan base, its chock full of what Sarah does best: well crafted old rock n’ roll with a country twang thrown in to keep things interesting. Sarah got dressed up all-fancy-like and had a photo shoot with her dad’s classic Thunderbird. She turned the photos over to us and it was our job to create a album cover that looked timeless and exuded cool (which Sarah has in spades). We were especially pleased to find a light-hearted image of Sarah behind the wheel with a candid laugh, it took some doing to convince her that was the way to go, but we were glad she trusted our instincts. Do yourself a favor, and turn this one up!
“The CDs are now in hand, and look really awesome! Everyone we’ve shown them to is really impressed. Thanks a ton for your fine work once again.”
Happy clients, well… make us happy. Honest Bob and the Factory to Dealer Incentives enlisted the studio to develop the art direction for their latest musical offering, Deal of the Century. We had previously worked with the band and appreciated their faith in our ability to develop the visual complement to their music again. We assembled a visual narrative to the album’s title and riffed on the idea of four bandmates being represented by four mailboxes. Clearly, not a group of guys who get caught up taking themselves too seriously.
May we present David Lockwood’s latest release, Modern Love. Our art direction was inspired by the sweeping, cinematic concept of the album. We also drew largely from the lyrical content (which itself was inspired by a famed, recurring article in the New York Times). This cover image was quite a labor of love itself. Partially sourced from royalty-free Library of Congress images, we assembled a composite image based on a narrative of the two people, and a dwelling in the distance. Our intent is to allow the viewer to determine the dialog between the characters – one of everlasting love, a pending break-up, the challenge of a long distance relationship or perhaps they simply enamored by the different perspectives of hovering typography in the sky?
We’re happy to announce that we’ve just updated our website with the latest round of featured projects. Head on over to alphabetarm.com to get the details on the very newest of new projects we’ve been working on.
Featuring bouncing basslines, soulful vocals, lush production, and a definitive “from-across-the-pond” inspiration (it was partially recorded at Abbey Road!), here’s the cover for New Lion Terraces. As with any CD Art Direction project, it was a challenge to nail down a visual style for Corin Ashley’s new, full length album. After exploring a wide variety of designs, illustration styles, and photo manipulations, we landed on the simplest solution: draw a lion. Duh. Making use of a bright color palette, boatloads of custom typography, and a psychedelic-yet-refined visual style, we were able to achieve a vibe that was 1/2 throwback and 1/2 twentythirteen.
Here’s a peak behind the curtain of the rough sketch we later refined:
And the complimentary show poster, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr:
…looking for art direction, and we were happy to oblige. Boston-based acoustic rock siren Katrin had a handful of striking images courtesy of Dion Ogust and (long-time friend of the studio) Liz Linder but was struggling to tie it all together. Our initial step was to develop a custom logotype for her.
Former Alphabet Arm intern Florencia Tasso rendered a simple yet stylish type treatment that was introduced to Katrin’s photos. It soon became an essential branding tool for Katrin and her management. As a designer, it often becomes our job to show restraint and not overwork a design or add elements not crucial to a specific piece. Sticking with a clean layout and letting the images lead the way, we did work in a number of hand written lyric selections from Katrin which added some depth and visual interest.
Richard Shindell is an expatriate New Yorker currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Richard is a craftsman of folk songs that are often laden with rich storytelling. Thirteen Songs You May or May Not Have Heard Before is “a relatively spare, no-frills revisit of some of the songs from his catalogue.” To compliment his rustic sound, we designed his upcoming CD package with a hands-on approach. We stamped each letter of the title by hand and made sure to retain the beautifully imperfect character of the type. An archival scan of wood type (which had definitely seen better days) was incorporated to reinforce the unrefined quality of the cover. Props to Richard for embracing the stark, bold, type-only design that we think is quite eye-catching.
Kairos, translated in Spanish, means opportune time. Apparently, it was the opportune time for this recording project rooted in R&B, positivity, pop and the band member’s faith. Alphabet Arm was hired to art direct their debut release, Corro A Ti. We augmented their travel-themed photos and developed a textured, bold layout to compliment their music and its complex influences.
Actually, Ollie Childs is not American at all, the singer / songwriter was born in England, but he has written a stellar track celebrating the states. Non-Drip Gloss Records was savvy enough to coincide its release with Independence Day. Here is the cover for the single (available on iTunes):
Being a studio with an extensive record collection of our own, we are never satisfied to stick with the expected singer / songwriter “glamour shot” album motif. Much credit goes to Ollie and his management to allow us much visual leeway. In this instance, we also didn’t want to be overly nationalistic, but liked the idea of introducing something as iconic as the American flag into the layout. We used a great deal of layered Photoshop images and textures (close to 30) to achieve the final cover treatment. We were greatly inspired by the depth, tone and lyrical content of Ollie’s songs. Here are a couple detailed views to wave your flag to:
April Verch and her band play an energetic style of blue grass, blues and pop (among other styles) deeply rooted in the Ottawa Valley musical tradition. Not only is April an highly accomplished fiddler, singer and songwriter, but she’s also a pretty amazing step dancer. Seriously, she’s s super talented. Recently, we finished up the design for April’s forthcoming CD. From a design standpoint, April basically asked us to do what we do. In this case, that included hand drawn typography and rustic canvas texture.