Over the weekend, I put together an album cover for Satellite Reboot's upcoming album, Old Saws and Apologues - or "Ol Saws and Applesauce" as my brain thinks of it.
He told me that he thought he wanted something like a Final Fantasy logo - go ahead, I'll wait while you look those up. I'm putting together pieces of art for individual tracks as well, so I thought something clean and bold would be a good contrast to some of the more detailed work I've been doing. Also, abstract stuff can be super fun.
This is the first thing I sent to him. It's not terrible. To this point, he's been using the little robot I drew for him a few years ago on everything - I really wanted something that would be easy to translate to avatars, business cards, and so on. I went with the gold colors because it screamed "mythology!" to me, and because I wanted to try something different with him - he often uses blues and greens, and I wanted to freshen it up a bit.
It's not that he disliked it, but I don't think we've ever settled on the first concept of anything.
A few more shapes later, I sent this over. I noticed that the FF logos had more depth to them, so I hauled in some gradients. I was pretty pleased with this, but he was still hesitant - largely, he said, because he didn't really know what he wanted.
As a designer, let me tell you, that state is so frustrating to work with. When a client knows exactly what they want and can communicate clearly, it's a snap. Or when a client has no idea what they want, and leaves it up to your discretion, that also works well. But having a vague concept in mind, with no clear direction is challenging, because feedback can be scarce. It's not what they had in mind, but they don't really know what they had in mind. But it happens.
So I kept working at things, and decided to throw some of the FF idea under the bus.
This is what I came up with next. Do you remember back when Windows Media Player had those animations that changed to the beat of the music? That's kind of what I was channeling - that stories and music create patterns. It was clean, abstract, and looked like the futuristic mythology I was going for. I might end up adapting this piece for one of the track art pieces, because I hate to see it go to waste.
There are a couple of the tracks in particular - Cosmogenesis and Lifeseed - that really embody what I feel like this album is. They're a fascinating blend of orchestra (or "normal") sounds, like piano and strings, with these crazy sci-fi synths. It's trippy and beautiful. I wondered what a trippy synthy space robot flower would look like. That's what I came up with. I tossed some textures in behind it, and added the lines - in my mind, it's a nod to sheet music.
Mind you, it was also about 2 am at this point, so we're probably lucky that nothing was inspired by cats eating cheeseburgers.
I tossed the text back on there, as well as a bit of color, and this is what I sent:
He was thrilled, and so was I. I played around with the colors a bit, but I didn't find anything that worked better. In the end, it's a busier concept than I wanted to go for, but I think it's a pretty snazzy album cover.
I just hope I did the album justice, because he has really upped the ante with this one. It's fantastic.