Ed Harcourt - Lustre Album Artwork
Two years ago I received an email out of the blue on Myspace from one of my favourite musicians, Ed Harcourt. He told me that he loved my work and wanted to know if I'd like to collaborate with him in creating artwork for his next album. I of course replied yes straight away as he was on the top of my list of amazing people to work with and I knew it would be a fantastic and fun opportunity. So in November 2009 he got back in touch with me, we spoke a few times on the phone about project ideas and possible exhibitions in the future, and we arranged to meet up in February of this year to start discussing ideas and plans for his new album 'Lustre'.
Ed was very kind and professional and paid for all my transport to meet up with him in London, and we had a lovely creative day of eating lunch in his favourite pub in London, and drinking beers whilst looking through my work and discussing what we could create for the project. We both had ideas of how the artwork could look and what the concept could be for the album art as a whole, but Ed had a brilliant idea of making the album into a music book full of his sheet music presented in a distressed fashion, all the song lyrics, and lots of my drawings, combined with Steve Gullick's amazing photographs.
I'm so pleased that I was given the opportunity to collaborate with both Ed and Steve during this project as they are both so inspiring and they both have such a huge body of amazing work. I learnt a lot through working with them, and also through working with Steve Nice, Ed's brilliant manager who helped guide us through creating the artwork and the process. Ed was so great at keeping me constantly informed and updated on how everything was progressing so I never felt overwhelmed or lost, and he also gave me constant feedback which was really helpful.
I want to mention a few words about Steve Gullick's photography as his portfolio is so impressive and I can completely understand why Ed loves working with him so much. I took this quote from an internet music website:
"Steve started out taking band shots for a friend's fanzine in the early ’90s and was swiftly recruited by the weekly music paper Sounds. Since then, he’s shutterbugged for Melody Maker, NME and MOJO – for whom he shot Grinderman, Depeche Mode and The Fall – co-launched Careless Talk Costs Lives and Loose Lips Sink Ships magazines, whilst moonlighting in rock bands that have included Welfare Heroine, Bender and the current Tenebrous Liar. From Nick Cave through to Jack White via Kurt Cobain, Steve Gullick has photographed all the leading and most interesting figures of the last two decades of alternative music."
If you'd like to read more about Steve Gullick's photography, here's his website: www.gullickphoto.com and here are a couple of great articles I've found about his work:
Steve Gullick makes us want to be better at things
The Dark Art Of Steve Gullick
The front and back cover of the album feature two photographs by Steve Gullick. To compliment these I created various hand drawn illustrated details for the corners to create a vignette, and I also created a typographical logo for both Ed's name and the title of the album. These are the final type logo's we decided on for the Lustre title and Ed's name:
As the photographs are so beautiful we didn't want to place too many details on top, and we also wanted the details to sit well with the photographs and tie in stylistically. Therefore in order to get the appearance just right I created about 50 variations of my initial 6 cover ideas, experimenting with various type fonts, drawn fonts (some of which you can see below), different colours, drawn details, and also the placement of all the cover elements. After many discussions over the phone and tweaking of minor details we very happily decided on the front and back cover layouts you can see below:
Below you can see two of the hand drawn versions of the logo I created when first experimenting with typography ideas and styles. I drew them both freehand and the leaf shapes were intended to make visual suggestions of lustrous sun light swirls and the shimmer patterns you see on water when the sun reflects light off the surface.
I want to finish this blog by saying thank you so much Ed for giving me this amazing opportunity to work with you, and for making the whole project such a rewarding, enjoyable and fun experience! I'm so happy with how all the artwork has turned out and I really hope to work with you again very soon!
This is a vinyl album Ed kindly gave to me and signed before I left his house to go home, and he also signed the covers of all my CD albums. I gave him some of my handmade pieces of artwork such as my Nightowl Secrets, a mini drawing book, a brooch for his wife Gita, and some illustrated badges as an exchange, so we did an awesome art swap :)
If you'd like to find out more about Ed Harcourt and the Lustre album, please click on the various links below: