Home > Art, Music News > Packaging Art : Design in front of the Music

Packaging Art : Design in front of the Music

27th Jun 11 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments

A big piece of what still links me to music is the artistic approach that goes into the whole package.  Sure, break it all down, and the actually music hitting my ears is the “most important” component, but I still dig the physical product (CDs & vinyl).

Two of my favorite record labels go out of their way to create stunning packaging: the John Zorn-run Tzadik Records and the Mike Patton co-owned Ipecac Recordings.

 

For Zorn, the die-cut and gorgeous lettered detail in Tzadik’s Masada Book Two series jumps to the forefront, as do many of the stunning titles in the Archival series (The Dreamers, etc).  For Patton, the gold-embossed Mit Gas from Tomahawk was a first step, and the Peeping Tom & Mondo Cane packaging was colorful and stupendously took Ipecac’s level of art-packaging to a new level.

Both labels obviously believe in the physical artistic value, otherwise, they wouldn’t bother.  Well, this post delves a little bit into that process with two designers for Tzadik & Ipecac, respectively…

In a recent interview with Chippy from Tzadik…

Poor quality digital artwork is a shame because the original art/packaging is an extension of the concept. Most people therefore will not be able to fully appreciate/experience beyond the music. At the same time, the low quality is a good reason to truly really seek out the hard copy because there is so much more beyond the digital world. People forget about the beauty of books and print. The paper, the binding, the thread, glue, etc. There’s a reason why artists/designers use a certain ink, stock, varnish, diecut, emboss/deboss, etc. Dismissing this part of the experience minimizes the experience.
READ the FULL INTERVIEW with CHIPPY

Aaron Lazar from Tzgani Design worked on the most recent Book of Knots release from Ipecac.  The original design would have cost too much ($6-7/per unit), but would have been a three piece laser etched packaging design that would cradle a CD (printed in aqua, yellow and orange) and would function as a working astrolabe. Check it out in higher-resolution.  I wish this could have come to fruition, but I guess you have to be realistic in your artistic pursuits, too.

It is works of art like this that make me seek out more than just a download version.  Even if “CD quality” 320 kbps, it still seems hollow to me.  And more than just design… with music moving to a cloud-based platform now, here are eight reasons why vinyl is cleaner than “the cloud”… READ HERE at DigitalMusicNews.

~Dan – np: John ScofieldUp All Night

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