We’re guilty. Guilty of relying on the quick and easy method of using social networking to update folks on what we’re up to. You can see the cobwebs on this very site. I don’t think we’ve updated our work section in over a year. But I can feel it in the air … 2015 will be the return of the blog and long-form reading on the web. No? Well, we’re going to attempt that when we can. Personally, I miss it. I miss putting together (and reading) content that you could spend more than 2 seconds staring at. We’ll continue to Insta-tweet, but I don’t want to rely on that …
To be honest though, we have been busy. Very thankful for that. But, now is a perfect time to wipe the dust off the site and let you guys know what we’ve been up to for the last 9 months – and we also want to share some new things we’ve got cooking.
1. Our buddy Zac Schwiethale has joined IC to take on a few important roles, but mainly he’ll be overseeing our film and animation projects, which we are extremely excited about. If you know anything about Zac, you know that ‘whiz-kid’ doesn’t quite describe him well enough. He’s a mad genius. We are beyond stoked to welcome him back to the fold. And I am writing this about 7 months late. See what Insta-tweeting has done to me?
2. Thanks to the VSCO Artist Iniative, our first documentary film about artists (specifically what drives us and connects us all) begins production in July! We will be hitting 6 cities and interviewing numerous artists from many different industries and walks of life. We’re excited to tell this story … more on that here. We’ll be documenting and journaling the entire experience on our VSCO Grid.
3. Last fall, we had the opportunity of a lifetime come our way: To re-imagine the historic Cinerama Theatre in Downtown Seattle – our favorite movie destination since we landed here in 2001. We created 2 massive murals that completely altered the corner of 4th Avenue and Lenora Street. The mural art made its way into a re-brand of the theatre, inside and out. We are currently working on our short film, ‘Re-Imagining Cinerama’ that takes a closer look at Cinerama’s grand re-opening last November – and the art that went into it. We’ll also have prints of the mural (and more Cinerama art we created) for sale when we launch the film this summer. Photos above by Benjamin Benschnieder.
4. Stack And Scare! is coming to Shanghai in a massive way. The Shanghai Times Square Mall will feature a large Stack And Scare! exhibit next month. Giant sculptures, play areas, toys, posters, etc. Curated by APPortfolio. We are very excited for this – much more info coming soon.
5. Wine Meets Design. We are thrilled to be the inaugural designers partnered up with the talented winemaker Aaron Pott for Bare Bottle’s first release. We were first approached for this project a few years back from our friends Katie and Nathan at Eight Hour Day. We’ve had a blast working with them, Marta & Josh Harding – and Corey Miller, the man who dreamed this extremely cool idea up. A quick bio from their site -
Bare Bottle curates the pairing of winemakers + designers and provides them with a blank canvas through which to create. Each unique collaboration opens a window into our makers’ creative processes, their inspirations, and their worlds.
The dedication to craft, quality and presentation comes across so clear with Bare Bottle. If you love wine … and design … it’s worth every penny. I was floored when I saw the finished shipped piece …
6. Blast Off! After a 2-year hiatus, we are back with our good friends at Sasquatch! Music Festival. We had the pleasure of creating all of the Festival art, merchandise and even the Lineup Video this year. As per usual, the lineup is amazing (Kendrick!) and happens to be going on THIS weekend. We’ll have an in-depth look into all of the assets we created (including another collaboration with Ebbets Field Flannels and Theo Chocolate) soon …
7. The amazing opportunity to illustrate my first Children’s Book came up last September. We had gotten book offers in the past, but nothing quite felt right and some of the projects just plain fizzled out. When our friends at Crossway approached me about a Bible Story by Kevin DeYoung, it was a big decision. In the end, It was a project I wanted to personally see done right … and one that I wanted to see on the shelves myself. The Biggest Story was the most intense project I’ve worked on to date, and also the most fulfilling – in ways I could never have imagined. I cannot thank Josh Dennis and Crossway enough for allowing me to run with my vision and aesthetic for Kevin’s beautifully-written book. The Biggest Story is hardbound, 10 chapters and 132 pages. Available in August and up for pre-order on Amazon now. Below are a few sample spreads from the first two chapters.
8. Our Odd Galaxy wooden toy line with Uncle Goose is finally in full production mode and will be released in the next few months. There will be 3 products to start: Cosmo Kid, Moon Rover and Lunar Rocket, each sold separately – but of course much more fun when you own all 3. We have some fun OG launch (get it?) projects that will be released around the same time, including a window display at our favorite space store …
9. Two years ago, we bought a 10-acre ranch, turned a 50-year old barn into our studio and then made a toy out of it. OK, so that’s the short version. We’ll have a nice process post on this (way over-budget and panic-attack inducing) project on our new … well, see #10. For now, you can check out some great photos of the shop by Joshua Harding over at Bare Bottle.
10. Last, but not least, we are finally working on a new website. One that we will update. One that will work nicely on your phone thing you carry with you. We promise.
It’s been busy here at IC, to say the least, and we haven’t been updating the blog as often as we’d like. To make up for lost time, here are a handful of new albums we’ve been working on over the past 6 months. Enjoy.
I’ve been friends with these guys ever since we toured together in 2010, but never had the chance to work with them on a design level. I couldn’t be more pleased with how smoothly everything went. We knew we wanted a cover image that centered around an icon, and the WW mark is something that came to mind instantly after our first conversation. As always, I loved working in simple black and white. Each image is comprised of abstract painted shapes to convey a ink-blot/rorschach vibe. Pre-order the physical package here.
Taking a page from the late, great Storm Thorgerson book of “doing it for real,” we ventured out into the high desert of Southern California in early 2014 to create this album cover. Caleb Kuhl did a killer job on the photos, Neil Visel was particularly handy with the forklift, and I put too much lighter fluid on the car and we had to call the fire department. Apparently they saw the smoke from a neighboring county. Oops. Grab the physical album here.
Our pal Prop gave us free reign on his (amazing) new album – we wanted the packaging concept to feel as organic and layered as his music. What may look like paint drips and splatters are (mostly) images of his iconic dreadlocks. Our goal was to blend his soul into the art as much as possible – which was inspired by the album title and album concept. Grab the physical album here.
Memphis May FireUnconditional
The guys in MMF came to me with this concept, which I thought was great – that of the bond between father and child. Since my dad happened to be coming to town around this time, I thought it would be a great opportunity to photograph his arm for this cover… and I was able to talk one of my brother’s children into giving us a “hand” as well. Grab the physical album here.
The Atlas MothThe Old Believer
I’ve always enjoyed creating imagery that is “more than meets the eye.” I also love concepts that allow for some real hands-on interaction. Ideas like this have kept music packaging exciting for me through the years. When The Atlas Moth came to me with a concept that would change the cover image when wet, I thought there was no way we’d get the necessary approval to make it happen. Thanks to the folks at Profound Lore, who, in rare fashion, believe in going the extra mile in the name of artistic endeavor, this amazing idea is something you can now hold (and drench) for yourself. Above are both “before” and “after” versions of the cover. Grab the physical album here.
One of our favorite clients, Lecrae (and his label – Reach Records), asked us to work on the follow-up to his last album Gravity, which we had the pleasure of working on in 2012. We enlisted the help of our friends at Shinbone Creative to create Crae’s likeness in 3D wireframe (spot gloss varnish!) form for the cover. The physical packaging will def. be worth checking out. Pre-order that here.
Killer Be Killed
Working with an entire band of metal visionaries isn’t something I get to do every day. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. The aesthetic that we really bonded over, and seemed fitting for this project, was that of crusty, gritty, photocopied punk. The real fringe – Discharge, Man Is The Bastard, Doom, Crass, etc. It was a blast getting to work in a style that I love, for awesome guys that totally get it. Grab the physical album here.
GrievesWinter & The Wolves
Another album cover that’s more than meets the eye. We worked with Grieves to create something really special for 2011′s Together/Apart, and we knew we wanted to do something amazing for this record as well. The actual cover (top image here) features a die cut hole right in the center, where a standing Grieves shows through. When the cover is opened, we see that he’s surrounded by wolves. Careful out there, buddy. Grab the physical album here.
I had the pleasure of touring with these guys in Europe during the spring of 2012. We spoke a bit on the road about working together for the artwork on their new record, and I’m stoked that we were able to make it happen. Not to worry – no babies were harmed in the making of this cover. Grab the physical album here.
We recently completed the artwork for Manafest’s new album, The Moment. Our idea was to encapsulate that “leap of faith” moment – in this case, literally, as we see Manafest contemplating clearing possibly the largest gap of all time. You can pre-order the album here while there’s still time! Go!
Over the years, Number One Gun has been a source of creative exploration for us. They’ve always been great at essentially giving us free-reign, which has allowed us the room to create some work that we’re really proud of (thanks, Jeff). For this, their newest digital-only release, This Is All We Know, we created a scene made to look like a page cut from a special Twilight Zone Edition of a 1960s Life Magazine. We started with a pre-printed image and added a mysterious mirrored box, nestled into the setting.
Here’s a look at the album cover we created with long-time friend Aaron Sprinkle, for his newest release, Water & Guns. The Album itself is phenomenal, and Aaron, as usual, gave us his unyielding trust to create something with no boundaries but our own imagination. Water & Guns speaks of (among many other things) Aaron’s recent move across the country, and his long journey to complete this record. Our idea was to represent two polarizing landscapes using abstract shapes. In this case, all pre-printed materials from vintage magazines. Buy this record.
Is there still a role for designers in the music industry? We’re honored to be amongst 7 studios interviewed and featured in IdN’s Music Graphic issue.
Recorded music has always been packaged, from the very earliest days when wax cylinders came in cardboard tubes, and has therefore always involved designers. In the palmy days of vinyl LPs with sometimes stunning cover art and often erudite liner notes, the presentation was almost as important as the product.
But with the industry morphing so rapidly into the field of digital-download delivery, where do the graphics come in now? This is a burning question for all those working in the area of visually representing music. To see what their answers are, read this feature story, which solicits the views of seven specialist music designers.
Featuring: Telegramme Studio | Invisible Creature, Inc. | IWant Design | Daniel Reed | Matteo Meta | Leif Podhajsky | Giottographica
We’re excited to reveal our new cover for Minorville, the upcoming album from Nashville’s finest: Derek Minor. With the help of Curtis Clark (or ‘Dad’, as we like to call him), we designed this from the ground up in approx. 2 weeks. With over 100 feet of basswood and baltic birch, Dad took our design and created an entire city in 50 hours. Each structure arrived safely in Seattle, ready to be constructed in the shape of Derek’s profile. When we were initially presented with the challenge of creating this album cover, this was the first concept we pitched – Many thanks to Derek and Reach Records for sending us off and running. Stay tuned for a full comprehensive “Making Of” film coming in the next few weeks, but for now – enjoy the teaser (Processed using VSCO film emulation):
Here’s a look at the recently completed cover for August Burns Red’s new album, Rescue & Restore. The album will be available June 25th on CD, double gatefold vinyl, and limited edition vinyl box set. Pre-orders available soon! We had an absolute blast putting this together. Thanks to JB and the guys for their trust and letting us run crazy with it.
Last February, the kind folks at Austin City Limits Music Festival commissioned us to design key art and assets for their infamous 6-day event, which is happening October 4-6 and 11-13. We graciously accepted their request and the new look is now out in the wild. We had a blast compiling all that there is to love about the iconic festival, the city of Austin … and even a little of their historic bat and flag culture. Oh, and Depeche Mode is playing?!
What happens when two ex-Altec Lansing guys, an architect/furniture designer and a liquor industry operational expert come together? Grain Audio. Check out the great video and bio over at their Kickstarter page to learn more. Better yet, pledge some of that hard-earned cash and make this dream a reality. The products are beautiful and they sound even better. We even designed a poster to help seal the deal. Go!
Our friends in Underøath asked us to contribute a design dedicated to one show of their upcoming farewell tour. This design (for both poster and t-shirt) specifically commemorates the Houston, TX date of the tour. If you have a chance, don’t miss seeing this band for the last time, and be sure to check out all of the final tour designs created by friends of the band here.
We had the great pleasure of working once again with Starflyer 59 on their thirteenth full-length album, IAMACEO. As always, working with Jason Martin was an extremely creative and enjoyable experience… and needless to say, the album itself is stellar, so do yourself a favor and pre-order a copy (vinyl & digital download) NOW!