11 March 2009

483A : project 2 : 45 rpm album cover

Calexico album cover for a special pressing release.

in order to research Calexico's music, i had many listens on their myspace page. i was inspired to create a desert feel but not wild west. more contemporary. i also really enjoyed the diversity of instruments and the laid back influence in the music. i knew a natural paper is what i wanted to capture the feel, but i needed to be inspired for the design before i got caught up pasting a cactus on it.

it hit me when i saw one of my favorite blankets in the trunk of my car. it was the inspiration and motivation behind the design of this 45rpm album cover.

from then, i knew what had to be done. the process of designing it started with this:

i recorded "Alone Again Or" that was streaming online into garage band. then took a screen shot of the track editor. this served as the center of my pattern intentions as mentioned in the project 01 paper i wrote in february.

i simplified the sound waves into one-color black.

then, went to town re-creating southwestern patterns and finally copying the flow of the one in my blanket.

when i had the pattern i was looking for, i added the logo and printed it in reverse on a color laser. my plan was to do xylene transfers onto some funky papers. first i tried butcher paper, but it came out way too dark, then cardboard, but it was very uneven. the purpose to do the transfer was to get a distressed look, but it was at the point of illegibility – so i ended up using some Fabriano watercolor paper, or is it printmaking paper? i can't remember, it's all pretty much the same. and instead of using the potent xylene solvent, i picked up some wintergreen oil from the local pharmacy to make the transfers.

i love the watercolor paper because i was able to have torn edges which really added to the feel of the whole piece. not to mention the physical softness in the paper.

after making the transfers, i trimmed and assembled it.

i really like how the greens transferred onto the off-white paper. it gave the perfect contemporary desert feel.

oh, and the last minute violator that had to match the piece.

overall, i'm very happy with it. the only thing is i couldn't get the wintergreen (ben gay) smell out of my studio for about a week.

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