Archive for September, 2005

29
Sep

Cover: Zaragoza – Spain (2005-05-28)

I’ve been trying for ages to do more covers with Peter on the front. He’s featured on a few that have had group shots, but the only cover that ‘features’ Peter on the cover that comes to mind is Helsinki (and that pic was taken by a pro). The reason for this I think is that the guy never stands still, every fan photo I get is a blur of motion or from a really bad angle.

As you can see from the Zaragoza cover the only time he stops moving is when he’s talking to the band inbetween songs, but I think it’s still a nicely composed shot even if it is of his back, but at least he’s wearing a funky couloured shirt. You can tell I liked it because it’s featured on the back cover as well. No matter what I did I couldn’t find a good public domain image of Zaragoza, I’m having the same trouble with the Brisbane, Australia cover at the moment.

Photo Credits: David Thake (REM) David Thake (REM)

28
Sep

Cover: Glasgow – Scotland (2005-06-14)

Here is the Glasgow cover. This one was pretty straight forward. The front photo was one of many fantastic shots I received from David Thake. That guy knows how to get some great concert shots. I should mention David also took the photo on the Zaragoza cover. Label shot was by Any Harlander, someone else who has been invaluable with supplying photos. Back photo is of the Glasgow Science Centre by Craig Young.

Photo Credits: David Thake | Any Harlander (REM) Craig Young (Glasgow Science Centre)

07
Sep

Cover: St. James’ Church Promo Show – London (2004-09-15)

04
Sep

Cover: VH1 Storytellers (1998-10-23)

It’s been a number of weeks since I designed a new cover (even longer since I’ve done a blog entry). Between family, work and other projects there’s just not enough hours in the day.

Most of the work I have been doing recently has been text based, like updating the Murmurs BitTorrent Tracker FAQ and Rules, so on Saturday I decided it was time to get creative and design a new cover.

The Storytellers DVD was posted recently on the Murmurs tracker and I thought it would be a good cover to do. I wanted to do a classic leather tattered book look for it. A bit of an obvious concept I know but great fun to do in Photoshop.

I have to admit the original inspiration for this cover came when I bought Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Devils & Dust’ album a few weeks ago. I’ve always loved the distressed look in design and the Springsteen artwork used this beautifully and the paper stock they used was a perfect compliment to the design.

As I’ve mentioned a number of time in the past one problem with doing a design for a live show is finding good photos to use. This problem is somewhat alleviated by doing a DVD cover because you can get screengrabs and have tremendous choice over composition just by grabbing the right frame. But this also comes with it’s own problems.

DVD (NTSC) resolution is 720×480 at 72 DPI so when you put this on a 2228×1520 DVD cover at 200dpi the grabs aren’t that big which means you have to scale them up resulting in image degradation and pixelation. The way around this is to apply a slight blur or other effect to the image.

With the Storyteller cover I started with an image of an old yellow painted wall with the paint chipping and marks all over it and generally in a bad condition.

I then went through the screengrabs I’d made to find a good shot of Michael talking. The lighting and set backdrop for Storytellers really suited this application of design.

I scaled the image to 200% and applied an Overlay blend mode to get the image to take on the qualities of the background image.

I then applied a layer mask to the image of Michael and used an amazing brushset by Aleksandra over at www.prettybrush.cjb.net to paint the cracks into the alpha channel showing through to the wall layer below.

After a bit of trouble trying to decide on a typeface I did the layout for the back. Originally the back layout was all geometrical, but it just wasn’t sitting right and lacked any real interest. This lead to the photos getting a thinner border (thanks Fiona) and getting rotated. I also staggered the tracklisting and changed the point size of the track numbers.

All that was left to do was the credits and disc technical information. For the first time I used the grid layout for the disc info which really simplifies the layout process.

This design took quite a while from start to finish, but I must say I was very happy with the end result. My partner has just bought a new printer and I cant wait to try it out on this design on some nice photo paper I just hope she doesn’t mind me using all her ink.

Hope people like it. Feel free to leave comments and feedback below.