Category Archives: Graphic Design
Roxy Music has always been about style. Formed in 1971 from a bunch of art school dropouts (Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzenera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson, Eddie Jobson, Brian Eno, et al) they would record 5 great albums back to back. The band looked sharp in space glam gear (later it would be expensive suits) and played a mix of rock, glam, psych, frak-out and pop that would, though not as highly regarded in the US, be in direct competition w/ David Bowie in the early 70’s. For the cover art of their first 5 LPs they chose women, (not band photos) to illustrate their style and their 1940’s mindset. Each had one of the 70’s hottest models on a beautiful gatefold sleeve, (with the band photograph inside). 1974’s Country Life saw a small break from form with 2 nearly nude models posed amongst some pine trees. Most of the copies got through uncensored but the US censored copy is hilarious (just the trees). Some were also delivered as the nude cover w/ an opaque green cellophane outer sleeve. Below are the original covers along w/ a few outtakes. Enjoy the covers then go buy the music. BTW Siren has the big hit “Love Is A Drug”.
By the time of the Victorian age Christmas was not really an established holiday. There was no Santa Claus, no identifiable iconography, no stocking hung by the chimney with care. The Victorians were trying to figure it all out. It was Queen Victoria (1819-1901) herself whose own celebration of Christmas gave the fledgling holiday a serious boost in England. Illustrated, mass-produced Christmas cards caught on with the British people during Victoria’s reign. Card makers of the era drew from Christian as well as pagan images, and also general interests of the era, such as science, art, or religion. Does that really explain sled riding chickens, murdering frogs and anthropomorphic oysters though?
I’ve posted a bunch of these before and they never fail to amaze me. The deal here is that primarily in Ghana and other parts of Africa there exist traveling cinemas that will roll into your village on a flat bed truck, throw up a makeshift screen and show movies for a small fee. These posters are their advertisement. Hand painted on canvas, board or anything they can get their hands on, they are weird, beautiful and total design genius. This group is mostly African films w/ a few bootleg US productions thrown in.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave (or the midwest) you’ll know that vinyl records are back, and back big. Right now vinyl is outselling all formats of recorded music. I guess people were just bored w/ stealing badly compressed music off the internet – hopefully so. In order to give the buyer a completely different experience record labels have upped their game by producing unusual and uniques pieces. It’s usually the smaller record companies like Jack White’s Third Man Records that will do the real cool stuff – You may find a pink vinyl copy of Madonnas new LP from a major label but you’re never gonna’ find one filled with her hair and urine (honest to god – see below). Most of the records don’t play that great but what the hell – they’re just so damn cool.
In the cold war era Soviet Union, bootleggers built homemade recording machines and ingeniously copied and pressed forbidden records by the state on discarded X-Rays which they clandestinely obtained from hospitals. They would etch a copy of a record into the X-Ray, cut it into a circle with scissors, and use a cigarette to burn a hole in the middle, allowing the record to be played on any record player. http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/
Hellmouth burned an old German Bible from the late 1800s and pressed the ash into the ‘Bible Ash’ variant of their Gravestone Skylines album, which was limited to a total of 33 copies.
Shout Out Louds, a band from Sweden managed to create a playable ice disk for their single ‘Blue Ice’ in collaboration with TBWA Stockholm. The track can be recreated on a record player but only a few people got the chance to use it. They sent a kit to ten select people along with a set of instructions on how to make the album, along with a mold and a bottle of water. http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/
Zoetrope vinyl releases have printed or etched images on them that produce continuous moving pictures when spun on a record player.
Glassjaw‘s Coloring Book has 120 unique color combinations using yellow, orange, green, red, blue and white. The vinyl separates into a 7″, 10″ ring and 12″ ring and comes framed with a hand-numbered sticker on the back of the frame.
French DJ and producer Breakbot had a limited pressing of 120 copies of his single cast in edible chocolate and was intended to be played only once and then eaten.
The world’s first 3 RPM record, given away for free at Third Man Records‘s Three Year Anniversary Party. It’s cut at the slowest speed yet it plays super fast (and needs to be spun by hand as no turntable can play it). It’s a compilation of 7 inch records but packaged like a 12 inch, containing every Blue Series single released. http://coloredvinylrecords.com/blog/25-unusual-and-creative-records/
Emperor Yes’s LP – An Island Called Earth had a limited pressing of 100 records, containing crushed meteorite dust.
Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy had her blood mixed w/ clear vinyl for a limited release. The Flaming Lips went went step further for their LP Heady Fwends having the blood of Kesha, Nick Cave and Yoko Ono (among others) pressed into their LP.
Eohippus went even further with their single “Getting Your Hair Wet with Pee” single. That’s right yellow vinyl embedded w/ urine soaked hair.
Barren Harvest‘s Subtle Cruelties clear vinyl edition was pressed with real autumn leaves inside and was limited to 100 copies.
British company And Vinyly offers a unique service to their customers. They press your or your loved one’s ashes into a 12″ clear vinyl, containing music or any audio of your choice. All you have to do is to deliver the ashes to a pressing plant in London and pay the £3,000 for the ‘Basic Package’, which includes 30 copies of the record.
Both LPs for The Great Gatsby soundtrack are set are blindingly reflective metallized discs. Disc one is platinum and disc two is gold. These are the first-ever commercially available records made using these precious metals via this process. Not stopping there, the records come housed in an entirely unique laser-cut wooden LP jacket riveted to aluminum spines. If you can find one it’ll set you back about $400.
Normally, laser etching is only done on a non-playable side of a vinyl record. However, with some tweaking, laser etching can be done also on the groove side of the record without affecting the playing grooves. If hit by a light, the etching reflects in polychromatic colors.
Thanks to http://coloredvinylrecords.com
Ernesto García “The Chango” Cabral (18 December 1890 – 8 August 1968) Cabral first made his name as a caricaturist for newspapers and magazines during the Mexican Revolution of 1911, illustrating the exploits of Pancho Villa & Emiliano Zapata. From these drawings he was able to study in Paris for a short time on a grant from Mexico’s President Madero. For the next few years, Cabral would travel and worked in Madrid and Argentina before returning to Mexico in 1915. On his return he would start developing his recognized style of bright colors and exaggerated features, (working for many publications – it is said that he has over 25,000 published images). It is the movie posters from the 50’s though that have provided him his notoriety. Beautiful, bright and exciting, his work became synonymous with the burgeoning Mexican film industry of the early 1950’s.
Globe Poster, located in Baltimore, M.D., was one of the nation’s largest showcard companies and has been telling the story of R&B and all forms of American music and entertainment through bright and iconic posters since 1929. Globe began by printing posters for vaudeville acts, movie theaters, burlesque houses and carnivals, and became known for its work with R&B and soul performers-including James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner and Solomon Burke-and later hip-hop acts. Big, bold, fat type, Day-Glo colors and distinctive lettering were hallmarks of the Globe style.