Summer Project: The XX Vinyl Cover

Our summer project this year was to design a vinyl cover for our favourite band. I chose XX by The XX because their current cover meant that I almost had a blank canvas, whereas other bands had artwork that I felt like I would have to compete against.

I decided to keep a sketchbook of development work after receiving feedback that I wrote too much in my sketchbooks and didn't let the images speak for themselves. I started off by reading this article about a colourblind person who uses a device to hear colour, and then I used a mood board to research and experiment.

My next stop was a record fair at The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham. I'd never been to a record fair before, and although I was initially intimidated I quickly felt more comfortable as I looked around. I had a look at vinyl covers from similar genres (mainly indie) and noticed the strong prominence of colour as a visual communicator.

At this stage, I had a clear base for an idea in my head and I wanted to get on with the design. My next stop was Fermanagh, to get pictures of the country roads from a car at night. After printing them out, I quickly marked a photo as the back of the cover, but struggled to combine two to get the front. I had wanted to include the orange-red street light that I feel will become symbolic of the last decade, so the cover would give people a firm idea of which era the music belonged to. That left me with a group of five photos to choose from, and a second group of over 40 to combine with them. This was the bit I struggled with the most and I think this is what let me down. Overall, I'm very happy with the back but I don't think the front flows so well.