Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Process Behind: Gone Forever

(click image to enlarge)

Back in 1999, upon receiving a freshly-mastered copy of the band's Reject the Sickness album from long-time friend, Alan Douches, I began the process of signing God Forbid to Century Media Records – where I was then Director of North American A&R.

Three years later, for their sophomore effort, I put together a futuristic/apocalyptic concept based on the original ideas set forth by guitarist Dallas Coyle for the "Better Days" single artwork.

As art director and designer for the project, I brought in Travis Smith to illustrate my ideas. I wanted a tri-fold front cover for the booklet that, when folded inside the jewel case, would display only one of the panels but when opened up would reveal the entire 3-panel landscape. On the back cover, we move forward slightly in time as the raven flies into the distance towards the ruined city.

In order to aid Travis in my vision, I created some seriously non-epic sketches in which he turned into several ridiculously epic illustrations! However, the sketches were a major part of the process and therefore set the tone for the final packaging.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Like A Rolling Stone (And Far Beyond)

(click image to enlarge)

Best known for her 15 year stint at Rolling Stone magazine where she started as an associate and eventually became senior art director, Gail Anderson not only spoke at PCA&D's graduation ceremony but she returned this month to speak to the college as a whole.

An AIGA Medalist, Gail worked at length with fellow medalist, Fred Woodward in her years at America's longest-running and most influential music magazine. Later, she joined SpotCo, an entertainment design agency and has since written several books with Steven Heller (who may or may not have written several hundred himself) on my beloved topic of Typography.

She was honest, raw, and spirited – like the life of an artist should be. I laughed, I cried, and she even played some music that had a beat I could dance to. Not a bad way to spend a Monday morning, let me tell you. For photos and insight into her post-speaking engagement time spent with several juniors and seniors in the classroom, go here.

(All designs by Gail Anderson, or Gail Anderson & Fred Woodward)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


(Sketches and notes for Contain Us [click to enlarge])

I revamped and rearranged my studio this past summer in order to give myself a more inspiring workspace. New paint color, found objects, new (old) furniture, and a slew of framed collectibles and photographs now adorn the walls. The best part is that I also covered the main wall in black chalkboard paint. This allows me to sketch, make notes, and paste up inspirational pieces.

Above is a photograph of the current state of things immediately surrounding my computer monitor. It's the sketches and notes that really helped me organize an upcoming slipcase-bound, 8-disc, 64-page hardcover book that I both created and designed. With so many pieces to keep track of, I relied on these quite a bit to keep my head straight. The book will be out in time for the holidays and is now officially 100% into production. Fingers crossed that it's the beast it's lined up to be! More on this project soon…

(With my constant companion, Buddie [click to enlarge])