December 26, 2005
WTUL, Tulane University's radio station is accepting cd cover design submissions for their Marathon CD, Songs from the Basement. Proceeds from the album will help the radio station and the Maxwell Music Library relocate after their building was heavily damaged by hurricane Katrina.
Not much time left, design entries can be submitted until January 1, 2006. The winning cover will be selected January 10.
For specifics, check out the WTUL website.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
December 12, 2005
TUNiPOP prints album and cd cover designs on shirts and premium art paper. Basically, you send them an album jacket or cd insert design that you own, they scan the cover, make a shirt and/or art print, and send it all back to you. They can only make one copy of either a shirt or print design for any one customer due to copyright restrictions. The only reason they can do this at all (legally), is that they are acting as a transformation service only - as such they don't duplicate or archive anything - hence their strict single copy restriction.
Personally I don't think every album cover design makes for a great looking t-shirt. Having a big square shape in the middle of a shirt, even if it's great cover design always looks a little cheap to me.
The art prints on the other hand, particularly when framed, have a nice vintage look, similar to old movie posters. If the cover is a little beat up, it can even add to the vintage effect. I think the right album art would be great in an office, a themed bar or restaurant, or in a room used for entertaining. TUNiPOP can print covers in 3 sizes - 19x19, 24x24 and 31x31, each with different prices for different paper qualities.
The service may not appeal to a mass audience, but TUNiPOP shows that classic album art is suitable for wearing, and suitable for framing.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (2)
December 05, 2005
Got vinyl? No record collection is complete without Albums, a definitive look at over 300 of the most important albums of the past 50 years--the best sellers as well as the critic's darlings. This infinitely entertaining, informative book chronicles the popular music album in all genres, from pop and rock to jazz and hip-hop. More than just a 'best of' collection, Albums showcases individual recordings and presents them in a wider, more historical context, complete with timelines, more than 800 color photographs, album art, liner notes, studio stories and much more. Anyone who likes music is sure to agree, this book rocks.
November 10, 2005
Download album art for all iTunes tracks, view all your albums in a visual display sorted by artist and album, and resize art up to 300x300. Advanced code circumvents server errors from nonstandard text in album-artist names when downloading Album Art. Advanced code is able to manage international character sets when attaching covers to iTunes. Click an album cover to play a song, sync individual album covers to iTunes, sync all your album covers to all tracks in iTunes with one click, perform extended searches on rare albums with up to 100 hits per album, and change album art easily.
Version 1.5 fixes unspecified errors with international character sets when attaching covers and increases Album Cover Art downloads in the trial version to 30 covers plus seven deep Search covers.
End of Publisher's Description.
A similar product called CoverBuddy is available for iTunes Mac.
EyeJamz sells for $11.99 (trial version available)Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (2)
November 04, 2005
The cd cover design of Texas punk band FemixTX's upcoming live album, "Purple Reign and Blood" has been nixed. Lawyers for Prince stepped in and applied pressure, apparently forcing the band to change the cover design - for fairly obvious reasons. The cd is set for November 8 release.
As they say, there's no such thing as bad promotion.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
October 30, 2005
Many musicians at all levels of the music industry dabble in the graphic arts, sometimes creating their band's own cd cover design, or doing design work for other bands. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park is one of those musicians.
At the time Linkin Park was performing showcase shows for major labels, Mike was completing last term final exams at the Art College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He majored in Illustration there, and ended up contributing the 'soldier' illustration to the cover design of Linkin Park's debut cd, Hybrid Theory. He also designed the cover for their next album, Meteora. What else? The Linkin Park Underground website, all the band's merchandising, Styles of Beyond's album, 2000 Fold, and a cover design for the band Saukrates.
Mike's current project, Fort Minor, has him working as producer, musician and graphic designer. The cd packaging and website design for their Rising Tied album (scheduled for a Nov 22, 2005 release) is based on a series of 10 paintings done by Mike, giving him a large body of work to draw from for all the related promotion and merchandising design.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 25, 2005
The Cincinnait Art Museum is running an exhibit titled "Borrowed Time: the Photograph as Music Album Cover." Dennis Kiel, associate curator of photography, realized that the museum's fine art photographic collection contained works from photographers that were also used for album and cd design for artists such as Miles Davis, the Beastie Boys, the Replacements and Philip Glass. The exhibit features work by photographers such as Harold Edgerton, Don Hunstein, Birney Imes, Arthur Tress and Cincinnati's Michael Wilson. IPod listening stations are provided for visitors to hear music from the featured albums. The exhibit runs until January 29, 2006.
Borrowed Time: The Photograph as Music Album Cover at the Cincinnati Art MusemPosted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
October 22, 2005
Over at Stylus, a daily web magazine specializing in music, they have a weekly contest called Stylus’ Album Art Challenge. All the identifying marks are removed from 10 album cover designs - guess the most correctly to win. They choose cover designs from all genres of music, both old and new. It's quite a challenge, even for a serious audiophile. Check out this weeks contest here.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (1)
October 05, 2005
In a first-of-its-kind tour, John Van Hamersveld will appear at select Tower Records locations nationwide to sign Limited Artist's Editions of the Cream '2005 Live at Albert Hall Reunion' concert poster (for which he also designed the CD/DVD art at the request of Eric Clapton), as well as his famed Jimi Hendrix 'Pinnacle' poster, which commemorated Jimi Hendrix's February 10, 1968 concert at LA's Shrine Auditorium, widely considered to be one of the greatest rock posters ever made. The Cream poster is John's first rock poster in 21 years.
Select Tower Records stores nationwide:
- Los Angeles/Sunset - Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 6 PM
- San Francisco/Columbus & Bay - Friday, Oct. 7 at 6 PM
- Las Vegas - Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6 PM
- Denver - Friday, Oct. 14 at 6 PM
- Dallas - Monday, Oct. 17 at 6 PM
- Nashville - Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 6 PM
- Atlanta - Thursday, Oct. 20 at 6 PM
- Philadelphia/Ave. Arts - Sunday, Oct. 23 at 4 PM
- New York/Village - Monday, Oct. 24 at 6 PM
- Chicago/Clark St. - Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 6 PM
- Seattle/5th Ave. - Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 6 PM
- Sacramento/Watt Ave. - Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 PM
- La Jolla - (Date and time TBD, likely mid-Nov.)
- Laguna Hills - (Date and time TBD, likely mid-Nov.)
for more detailed information check out the press release at PR Newswire, who we thank for the excerpt.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
September 29, 2005
Grabbing High-Res Album Art with PHP by David Battino -- The album cover images in iTunes are just 170 pixels square. A programmer figured out how to retrieve 600-pixel versions from Apple's site. Can you figure out how he did it?Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (1)
September 23, 2005
Enjoying your music library's cover designs got a little easier, and cooler. with the JewelCase plug-in from Optical Alchemy. It's a iTunes visualization that displays a 3D rotating jewel case and track info for the currently playing song. The front of the rotating jewelcase shows the cd cover art, and the back (traycard) displays the tracks on the cd against a blurred background of the cover design. The artist and cd title are shown in the spine. The jewel case with cover art comes flying in when the song or album changes, based on user settings. JewelCase is 'donationware' and it gets two thumbs up!
The JewelCase cover art visualization plug-in is Macintosh only (sorry PC users).Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
September 14, 2005
Communication Arts, the seminal design publication, has an eight-part online feature about cd and album cover design. The feature describes what has changed and what has stayed the same in the last 50 years of album designs. Major label designers and independent freelancers give their opinions of the creative process in the music industry, and the political tug-of-wars that sometime exist along the way.
Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
August 24, 2005
Rock band Disturbed's new cd Ten Thousand Fists features a cover design by Todd McFarlane, creator of the Spawn comic book character.
McFarlane has designed other cds and videos for the music industry, including KORN's Follow the Leader cd cover and Freak on a Leash video, as well as Pearl Jam's Do the Evolution video.
At Spawn.com you can enter to win a Washburn guitar with hand-drawn imagery by Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo, signed by the band members of Disturbed. You can also read more about the concept of the cd cover design.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (4)
August 08, 2005
Album and cd cover design Exhibit "Revolutions" is now open in Los Angeles. The 150 piece exhibit features visual arts created for the music industry. One room is dedicated to Storm Thorgerson, who created the famous prism design for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon, as well Pink Floyd'd The Division Bell and album and cd cover designs for Led Zeppelin.
The exhibit runs through October 9. Location: Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, 1712 S. Glendale Ave, Los Angeles. Admission is free. Open daily 10am - 5pm PST.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (1)
August 03, 2005
40 years ago an album was released by Herb Albert's Tijuana Brass with one of the most memorable cover designs of the 60's - it was naughty, creamy and hard to forget. I'm sure I'm not the only one who used to gaze and fantasize enlessly as a youngster at the look in her eyes...
...oops, that's too much information.
Anyway, the anniversary edition is now available. Personally I think the cd design should have a fold out, full size poster... just a thought.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
July 25, 2005
That's the book by legendary cover artist Storm Thorgerson. He is most known for his designs for Pink Floyd. In the book Storm critiques cover design concepts, colors and fonts of over 200 of the "Best Covers of the Decade". He gives inside views on how the psychedelic movement affected cover design.
Storm has authored several books on album cover design, including 100 Best Album Covers.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
NEW YORK, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Major classic rock music personalities will appear in a series of signed, limited edition commemorative album cover prints produced to raise funds for cancer research, it was announced today by the T.J. Martell Foundation and WYD MediaManagement, LLC.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
July 20, 2005
what follows is an update to our previous entry from July 10
UPDATE: An agreement has been reached for record's the first run that allows Superman to stay on the cover. Any and all future runs will be without Superman. No legal action was ever taken or threatened by DC Comics. The label in question, Asthmatic Kitty, delayed the release strictly on the advice of their own lawyers (and made some good publicity press in the meantime).
You can read more herePosted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
July 15, 2005
Album cover artist Paul Cannell took his own life on July 5, 2005. He was a musician himself, forming the band Crawl in the 90's. His most renowned work was Primal Screams release Screamadelica (pictured below)
more info herePosted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (3)
July 12, 2005
Wille Nelson ran two different cover design versions of his latest release, Countryman. Wal-Mart's strict guidelines for potentially objectionable package design would have kept the cd off the shelves at the retailer. Countryman is a reggae album from the redheaded stranger, and it features a marijuana leaf on the cover - except at Wal-Mart. Universal Music Group Nashville, Willie's label had a 'clean' version created, changing the marijuana leaf into a palm tree.
It reminds me of David Bowie's band, Tin Machine. Their second release, Tin Machine II had nude male Greek statues on the cover. Their label did a 'clean' version for the US market that blurred out the statues' uhhh.... naughty bits. Here's the original cover, not available in the US.
Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
UPDATE - Sept 21, 2005
New feature added in version 1.3 - "CoverBuddy now lets you distribute your music collection to the network. Use any web browser to browse albums and remote control playback. It's great for office use and other areas with more than one computer, making it easy to control music playback from every machine. You're lucky if you own a Sony Playstation Portable – we built one version of the Web Interface optimized for the web browser of the PSP!" CoverBuddy promotional email
CoverBuddy's network browser
In our view, anything that helps cd cover design and liner notes make the transition to digital along with the music is good good good. So we like CoverBuddy. It's an app that lets you view your iTunes collection like it was a jukebox, browsing through the cd cover art designs. You click on a cover, choose a track and it plays - sweet! There's a search box just like iTunes', which can search cd title, artist, album etc. There's a full screen mode and you can actively scale the size of the covers ala iPhoto.
2 hitches - it's Macintosh only and it will not automatically retrieve cd designs from the net due to legal concerns. For automatic cover art retrieval for iTunes try M-Beat. CoverBuddy does however provide a link to the album's amazon.com page where you can drag the cover directly from the browser window.
CoverBuddy is $24.95 and M-Beat is $10.00.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink | Comments (1)
July 10, 2005
Another copyright/trademark infringement issue based on a cd cover design. This time it's the Man of Steel. Artist Sufjan Stevens' cd release, Illinois, contained an image of the chicago skyine with Superman flying above. On legal advice, Stevens' label, Asthmatic Kitty has asked retailers not to sell the cds, and there is no word on a release date for the newly designed cd.
The "Fair Use" legal argument probably don't fly here... bad pun.
More details herePosted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
July 09, 2005
I would hate to be the creative director for Nike skatebording. They um.. borrowed, or basically recreated the cover art of 80's punk band Minor Threat, with a name twist and of course different shoes. No permission was requested from the band's label, who were needless to say, upset (at least publicly - a temporary 'spike' in the album's sales is sure to result).
Perhaps Nike thought it will pass under the radar, maybe it was pure publicity for all, or maybe somewhere a designer, a creative director and company learned a hard hard lesson about copyright.
For the record, Nike apologized - more coverage herePosted by Eric Fritz | Permalink