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[/column] [column width="57%" padding="0"]How actively involved are the artists with the visual direction of each subsequent release? The level of involvement can very quite a bit. Generally speaking the recording artists on Lo Recordings don’t get too involved with steering the visual direction of their packaging, so this allows us to get on with our job fairly unencumbered. In Bernard Fevre’s case, we produced a visual showing the general direction the packaging would take and we got a reply via the label managers that he was happy with the look of it, so that one went fairly smoothly.
We’ve had a few situations in the past with artists not liking our visual direction or, worse still, trying to get too involved with the design, but mostly this isn’t the case. There was, however, one instance where one of our designs was rejected for the most unfortunate reasons. We’d centred this particular design around a series of photos of dogs, which just happened to be wearing make-up. The /images had a fantastically matter-of-fact and yet slightly disturbing feel to them. We were sure the client would either love them or, at worst, be disinclined towards them. It turned out that he was so horrified by these /images that he was almost brought to tears. He politely but very insistently rejected our designs and, after much cajoling, revealed that the reason was quite simple. He was once, as a child, savaged by a dog. We really couldn’t have chosen a worse subject for this chap’s album packaging. This level of rejection is, thankfully, very very rare.
In terms of typographic exploration, you’ve employed a bespoke typeface consisting of bold geometric forms, fine lines and large rounded serifs in some of your recent work – namely: Print Magazine, Vowels – The Pattern Prism, and to a certain degree: GAP (Red). How did this come about? We’re always playing around with shapes and forms that can translate into typefaces, and we’re always taking typefaces we’ve designed for one project and spending time exploring new avenues with the basic form and structure to see if we can create something new from something already tried and tested. The result is quite a large collection of typefaces, some of which get used on commercial projects and some are destined for non-commercial or more promotional projects. The typeface we’ve used for the Vowels music packaging has evolved from a mixture of typefaces including one originally created for the Hatchback album packaging. Some of the letterforms are also included in the t-shirt designs for GAP (Red), and modified versions also made it into the tattoo design for Print’s cover image. Not unlike a family tree it’s possible to trace the lineage of some of these typefaces back to earlier Non-Format projects and, no doubt, we’ll continue to cross breed these letterforms with new ones in the future.
As ambassadors of type, what has a been highlight for you so far this year? Generally speaking, our appreciation of type has been less about individual typefaces and more about the illustrative way that type is being handled. Alex Trochut, for example, is creating some great type but the real charm and impact of his work is in the way he creates compelling /images that are primarily typographical.
However, that’s not to say there aren’t some good typefaces out there. We particularly like Ondrej Jób’s Klimax, which has recently won a Judges Choice in this year’s New York TDC awards. Also, Planeta by Dani Klauser is a nice simple geometric sans serif, and Nicholas Massi’s Arco is a typeface that made an impression this year.
This post is tagged Art Direction, Non-Format, Packaging, Sessions