Never have I ever...
The project prompt was pretty straight foreward, design something with the theme 'never have I ever.' I began to go through the lists of things I have not yet designed and came up with vinyl/cd cover packaging.
My original thought was not to pick a band that was highly recognized or already had a well-designed album cover. I thought of a band my father listened to in the 70’s from Youngstown, Ohio called Left End. Left End was popular in the Northeast Ohio region who had an LP recognized nationally. Lately, the band has caught local news attention again due to the writing of a book about the band by drummer Patsy Palumbo. I connected with Patsy to share my project idea for a re-release edition of their record Spoiled Rotten and he was a big help in sharing past song lyrics with me for my visual idea of the design.
The Original Idea
The original idea for this project came to me while on vacation in Florida. While I was on the beach listening to music, Sunshine Girl by Left End came on my playlist. I started to think about how most of their hit songs are based on a person/personality – Sunshine Girl, Bad Talking Lady, Cyclone Rider, Spoiled Rotten. I had the idea of illustrations for a few pages of the vinyl record package that would feature LPs of those songs incorporated within the illustration. As I was on the beach, with bikinis insight I thought of how the records could be the woman's breasts and the packaging of the vinyl could be the shirt/bikini holding them in place. This is something a bit out of my comfort zone of design, however, I thought it played with the ‘never have I ever’ theme. I think if I nail down an illustration style for this it could be done sort of cartoonish/tasteful.
While out to dinner on the trip, I ordered pasta. When my plate came, for some odd reason the vinyl records were still on my mind. I thought about the band and their past vinyl and some of the imagery. On their album cover for Spoiled Rotten, singer Dennis T. Menass is spilling a plate of pasta on the butler, hence the album and featured song title Spoiled Rotten. From there on the ideas just came through such as wheels of a motorcycle for Cyclone Rider.
Change of Plans
One of the biggest takeaways I will have from working on this project will be that I finally made my handwriting come into my style. Part of the “never have I ever” that came unexpectedly was that always wanted to develop my own hand-lettering style. I wanted to turn my actual handwriting into a style I would use.
When I initially thought of creating this project I thought it would be illustration-heavy. Instead, upon just playing around I developed this into a more typography-based project as I began to like the look of focusing on the song lyrics. This project was a great lesson in design that your final design doesn't always just come from your original idea, but instead continues to grow and develop along the way and can evolve into another or completely different idea along the journey.