Anatomically Correct

Other Work We're Stoked About,Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Adam Levy is a singer-songwriter and guitar player residing in New York. We recently finalized the art direction and design for his latest solo album, The Heart Collector. Adam pretty much left the door wide open for our creative interpretation on his record. We used the lyrics and dark mood of the title track for inspiration which was full of interesting descriptions and metaphors — perfect for creating visuals. Vintage anatomy text books quickly became the device we used to structure a diverse sampling of textures and imagery we associated with the themes of The Heart Collector. Look close and you can even see how we were able to tuck some of Adam’s lyrics and a map of his NYC stomping grounds cover collage itself.


Now Hear This!

Art Direction,Recent CD Projects,Recent Logo Projects | Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Have we mentioned – as a studio – how much we enjoy the process of developing the visual counterpart to music? Well, we do. It’s even more liberating when a client trusts us to do so. Thus was the case with Jason Young and his recording project, heartour. We’ve worked with Jason and his previous band, The Ruse, as well as his debut release of heartour. Part of the reason he has faith in us, is our constant effort to make his albums look as interesting as it sounds. We couldn’t help but be inspired by the album title, Submarine Sounds, and layers of sonic treats he folds into his songs. Adding levels of imagery, both overt and abstract, seems to gives the final package the depth we were hoping to achieve. The type treatment we developed for the cover now serves as the new identity for the project. Dive! Dive!


Sign of the times

Art Direction,Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you may have read an entry or two about our old friend Kay Hanley. In fact, we’ve been art directing/designing albums together since 1997. Her latest project, Palmdale is a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist/producer, Linus Of Hollywood. It’s a tour de force of rockin’ pop hooks. How to Be Mean is their second EP. After talking to the band and hearing the rough tracks from the EP, we opted to take a literal approach to the cover and digital booklet. Palmdale is actually named for a city in southern California. Palmdale sounds picturesque, lush and pristine — over time, it may have fallen short of the promise the romantic name portrays. Kay and Linus felt the music should complement both sides of that coin. This photo was taken in California a dozen years ago and seemed like the perfect starting point for the cover. We labored over distressing the image and type and added a warm color palette to mimic the intense heat in the vast concrete landscapes of SoCal.


Lucky Who? Lucky you!

Art Direction,Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

David Lockwood’s new LP, titled “Lucky Me”, stirred up a lot of ideas about traditions based around luck. In the end, we came to the conclusion of using a lucky rabbit’s foot. It took Aaron on an adventure to actually find an actual rabbit’s foot. He got lucky while stumbling into a wig shop. Why a wig shop? Well, Newbury Comics didn’t have any, of course. We took the rabbit’s foot idea into our own hands by setting up our own photoshoot. We ended up photographing David holding the rabbit’s foot. The idea was to create a warm, emotive image that portrayed luck. We applied textures to make it look old and worn, giving the viewer the feeling of an antique photograph. The final cover has a rich, tactile quality of that relates directly to David’s music.


The Skyler’s the Limit

Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

How do you present a new artist to the world without succumbing to the typical, silly headshot-on-the-cover of an album or EP? By making everyone (read: Artist, Management, Label, etc.) happy by fusing said artist or band into a slightly more engaging setting. Obviously we wish we could report that we had the budget + time to hire a muralist to paint Skyler’s new logo 15′ wide on a beatifuly weathered wall then call on savvy, local photographer, Tony Luong, to capture it all. Not the case my friends, this cover became a labor of love in Photoshop. Peep the details.


The New Collisions

Recent CD Projects | Thursday, August 27th, 2009

It may seem like we missed Blog Day Wednesday®, but it only seems that way. You see, we’re just so crazy busy, that we’re operating on our own time-line. One of the projects that’s keeping us moving is the debut EP from The New Collisions, titled “Invisible Embraces.” They’re based out of Boston, but poised to break out in a big way, if a recent tour opening for Blondie and The B-52’s is any indication. They have an extremely well refined New Wave sound, and it was a lot of fun to work on a project with a bit of a different aesthetic. It also helped to have fantastic photography to work with from studio favorite Liz Linder.

The New Collisions "Invisible Embraces" cover

The New Collisions "Invisible Embraces" back cover


The Newest Deal

Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

We’re currently wrapping up the art direction for the packaging of the new album by WPA. The band came to us with the idea of referencing vintage posters of the Works Progress Administration of the late 1930’s as a concept for the cover. So far it has been good fun to research and draw inspiration directly from such well done historical designs. And of course, we always relish the chance to add some vintage paper and distress the art in order to add to the authenticity. WPA consists of Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), And Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett) along with Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Bill Frisell), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers), Pete Thomas And Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello And The Imposters). Check out the freshly approved cover.



Pack Your Bags

Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

We just wrapped up the art direction for G&F Records‘ newest project titled, “Our Musical Journey.” We decided to take a semi-literal approach to the “journey” theme starting with a beat-up, vintage suitcase. Using the track titles as inspiration we designed some travel-inspired tickets and stickers to decorate the suitcase and use throughout the packaging. If you didn’t notice, we also designed their logo several years ago.



Hat Trick?

Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

We’ve spent the last few months designing two EPs and the full length release for Will Dailey (CBS Records). Will is an impressive, award-winning Boston singer/songwriter. He was joined by some very high-profile musicians during the recording of Torrents 1 & 2, including Roger McGuinn, Kay Hanley, Tanya Donelly, Elliott Easton, Tim Brennan and Duke Levine. One of the coolest aspects of the release is that they are presented in CODE, a high-resolution audio standard pioneered by T Bone Burnett.

It was rather liberating for us to develop a specific visual vibe for each release while retaining a continuety throughout all three. We were also fortunate enough to work with the ever talented photographer Liz Linder who supplied us with great visuals to work with.



The Stars Are Out

Recent CD Projects | Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

After having worked with Sarah on her previous release, Diamonds in the Dark, we discovered we work very well together. It’s always quite liberating to have a client really trust your judgement and reasoning for specific design choices. When we began working on concepts for, The Stars Are Out, we decided to take a relatively literal approach to this record allowing the logo to live on the cover but in more of a constellation inspired form. Lacking a great image to use as a base, we stepped out the studio’s back door and took a quick shot of the neighboring buildings for comp purposes. Sarah ended up loving the tone of the photograph and felt it complimented the sound of the record perfectly. We ended up shooting quite a few more images of our neighborhood for the interior booklet after hearing Sarah’s enthusiastic response. Sarah had a number of paintings we integrated into the packaging as well, all in all it was quite a team effort (you’ll have to buy a copy of the record yourself when it’s released on March 24th).

In the meantime you can check out their badass new video here [Do It For Free].

BOOKLET-STD J-C{cover+back)

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