Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Lummox Aesthetic

Well of course I would prefer to be designing LP covers, but the only thing I've gotten a chance to work on lately has been the short run CDs of LUMMOX RECORDS, which are put out basically to "legitimize" the release until someone with REAL MONEY can put it on wax. I've been patiently studying classic 80's metal LP covers for inspiration, so that when I get my chance, I can make my ultimate retro design statement on a cardboard sleeve. But since this year's two Lummox releases have been compact discs, I've had to modify the concept somewhat: Instead of 80's LPs, how about the aesthetic of 80's LPs that were REISSUED as compact discs with shrunken artwork? Great.

So while 80's metal LPs that have been reissued on CD was the general theme, Metallica's Master Of Puppets CD was the direct inspiration/ripoff! Master Of Puppets was actually the first CD I ever owned, and I still have that same copy, so is it any wonder that the style has been burned into my brain?

Ultimately, my design was just a study of minimal Helvetica compostions on a uniform grid, and there was no way I was gonna clutter the design with stupid mini band photos like Metallica's designer did! I wouldn't have even had room. The Metallica booklet gets a full three spreads, while I had to cram all the lyrics and album info into one, hence three claustrophobic columns.

The above idea didn't come from the Master Of Puppets CD, but from the original Kill Em' All vinyl. I was looking for a way to make use of some negative space, and I thought, why not a cool quote like "BANG THE HEAD THAT DOESN'T BANG." No one around me has said anything THAT cool lately, or if they have, no one's been sober enough to document it. So, deperately in need of content for my design, I pulled a pretty bad-ass quote from the Hazzard's Cure lyrics. "The wrath of a savage empire is at hand..."  Raaaarrrgghhh!!!!!!!

Ultimately I do not deem this project successful because I accurately copied the utilitarian design of a CD reissue (it's not even that close of a copy, and I wouldn't have tried to make it perfect, even if I could), I deem it successful because I was able to create a unified look for a series of releases. The CDs are tied together through common design sensibilities, with breathing room for their own personal identities as well.

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