CD Jacket #2
When I began the design process, I started by just listening to the music to pick up on the sound and tone the band utilizes throughout each song. I then researched various parts of the band’s genre and feel, such as hoodoo, blues, etc… In creating my second design, I chose a picture of the band from their website for the front of the band walking down a railroad. I chose this photo over the other photos on the site because of the laid back and dynamic look to it. It looks less posed than other photos, which I think makes for a more interesting photo. On the back cover, I used a photo that I took at Natural Tunnel State Park of the “Railroad Crossing” sign to match the theme of the front photo. When choosing the colors, I went with black and white for both the front and the back to add a simpler feel to them. Using gray scale on the photos further made the front and back more cohesive in their appearance. For the back cover, I increased the contrast of the back cover to make the darker parts of the photo darker. I did this because, the lighting of the original photo was quite bright in the cropped region, so it lacked the feeling of depth that the front photo has in its wide breadth of hues ranging from black to white. I right aligned the font on the back to make a clean edge on the right side of the photo. I also did this to help balance the “Railroad Crossing” sign that is positioned on the far left side of the image. Since the sign does not have a clean edge, and neither do the track titles, by using right alignment on the text, it creates a clean framing effect. The barcode is centered, just as in the first design to help maintain balance, because having it on the left or right would shift the focus and detract from overall cover.
After choosing these photos, I decided to name this CD off of one of the songs on the CD, “Crossroad Blues.” Although “Crossroad Blues” is a commonly covered song, due to the photos and knowledge that it is not uncommon for artists who do covers of other songs to make it their album title, I chose that name. When choosing the font, I chose a sans serif font because of the more modern and energetic look to contrast the traditional look of the black and white photos. By doing this, I found a midpoint between the traditional roots of the delta blues and and the energy of the Chicago electric style. I also spaced out the characters of the tracks on the back to increase the legibility of the titles on the detailed background. For the font colors, I chose complimentary and rich hues of orange and blue to contrast one another and the photos. This contrast adds energy to the cover that appeals to the roots of jazz and hoodoo.
Critique and Review
In this design, I really like some of the elements brought to the table by the design. I like the use of a photograph of the band. It introduces the audience to the band by capturing a “natural” moment and gives the band members faces. I further like the deepening affect the increased contrast on the back cover has. It creates more consistency between the front and back covers. I really like having these photographs in black and white. Each photo has a wide breadth of hues between light and dark, so when they are in black and white, the depth of the photo is increased because there is no detraction from differences in colors. It brings the photo into a simple and stately presentation that adds nothing to what is going on in the photo other than the subject: the band or the sign. A couple of things I would consider changing in the future would again be my involvement with the client to hear more individual preferences. I would also try to use a photograph on the back cover that has more natural depth to it so that the cohesion of the front and back is stronger because the front cover has a lot of darker hues to it, while the back cover has predominantly more light hues. Therefore, although both of them carry a wide range of light to dark hues, their predominance of light or dark hues are opposite. I would also consider changing the font or font color of the copyright information at the bottom of the album to make it slightly more legible, rather than just visible.