I haven’t posted anything on here for a while, and there’s a very good reason for that… NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE. The reason for that is the fact that I have been working on my final for my Digital Media 2 class for a lot of that time. We were given choices for our final project, and I chose to try to impress my professor. Now this can be a scary moment once you accept the challenge and then realize that you have no barriers for the assignment. It can be very hard to limit yourself. It can also be hard to find a starting point for an assignment like this. That is why I chose it. I wanted to push myself to be creative and original. Thankfully I didn’t spend weeks figuring out what to do. I decided I wanted to design something, but not just anything, something I would want to do after college. I chose a vinyl album cover.
Just an Idea
I have been remaking some album covers for a font class for a couple of assignments now. Some of them include a 21 Pilots album along with a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album. I have really enjoyed my time recreating these designs, but I never tried to make my own cover. I’ve always traced or copied someone else’s work (but not like stealing it, I just recreated it and whatnot). I decided that I should really try to make my own design from scratch. The first step was picking an album to redesign. Two albums came to my head instantly. One was Happy Camper by Hoodie Allen, the other album was Deadroses by Blackbear. Now if you haven’t heard of these artists they are definitely worth a look up if you are into R&B or rap music. Here are the original album covers for both of these albums.
As you can see they are both very minimal designs. After about an hour or so of thinking I decided to redesign the Deadroses album. The reasoning for this was the fact that I would be able to Photoshop roses, which can look great when it’s done correctly.
I started the design by keeping the same color scheme. I really enjoyed the colors on both albums, so I didn’t want to mess with that too much. I then went out and found some images of a cute black bear along with some roses and petals. I threw all of those into Photoshop and began to edit them. I used the oil pain tool on anything that involved a rose. I then gave the cartoon bear some texture by adding a subtle fur texture to it. I then edited the bear and placed a rose in his hand. After that I needed a new font. I wanted a font that really spoke to me and reminded me of the artist. The font I chose was called Caviar Dreams. If you are needing a good sans serif font go get this one. I then placed the things in on a 12×12 document in Adobe Illustrator. Here is how it came out.
Stepping It Up
I soon realized how boring my first design looked. I decided that I needed to really step it up and make this cover stand out. I kept the font and color scheme along with the bear. I decided to take it in a new direction by adding a texture in the background. I have always loved the texture of fabric, especially dark red. So that is what I added to the background. I then added a gradient to the fonts to make them appear to be reflective. I also added a stain on the fabric. The stain is very subtle, but it makes a great difference. I tried my best to make this fabric texture look as real as possible. It made a huge difference in the look, and I am pleased to say that I am yet to see an album cover that looks like my design. I also added the parental advisory image as well. I wanted to make sure I had all of the small things on this cover. Here is how my fabric idea turned out.
But Wait… There’s More
I finished the front cover and fell in love with it, but I forgot something. That something was the back cover. I had completely forgot half of the assignment for a few days, but I ended up getting that done with plenty of time. I knew I didn’t want the back cover to be all textured and “loud.” I would have to place font all over the back cover to inform people of what songs are on the album and on which side. Logos would have to be placed on the back, along with a short paragraph and bar code. If I were to keep that same texture it would be very hard to read small text on the back. I played it safe on the back and went with a simple approach, but the back took me just as much, if not more time than the front. I decided I wanted a large header on the back cover that had the album name along with the little bear logo I created. Then I separated the ten songs from the album into Side A and Side B. Splitting them were easy, the first five were on Side A and I think you can figure out what was on Side B. Once I had that layout how I wanted it I had to write a small paragraph stating that I am not using these designs for profit and all that good stuff. Then came the harder part. I had to make two logos for the back cover. Most vinyl albums have the record label logo or something like that placed above a short paragraph. I designed a Bear Trap logo, which is a label Blackbear has helped create. I also remade his Bearox logo. This is a parody of the Clorox logo that was created from one of his recent EPs Drink Bleach. I made these logos appear reflective and then added a bar code. I believe it came out great. Here is the back cover.
I called it quits after I finished the back cover. These covers may or may not be printed so I can have a hard copy of my work. Until then I will have to enjoy it from behind a desk. This assignment really helped me with my creativity. I’ve never tried to design something at this scale without a template. All of this was done on my own, minus a few images found on the internet. A lot of hard work was put into this final, and I believe it payed off.