View Full Version : Photoshop assignment - CD art design - Warning gruesome imagery
18th March 2009, 02:53 AM
Hey there, I decided to post a project that I have worked on for my digital tools class. This particular one was created in Photoshop CS3/CS4. The assignment called for us to pick one of our favorite songs and create a CD package for it. We were asked to consider all aspects such as font style, imagery, etc. that would help reinforce or coincide with the theme of the song or style of music.
I chose a song called The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut by Coheed & Cambria which has a rather brutal theme to it. I chose this song because there is one line that has always been very visual to me and that is "If I had my way, I'd crush your face in the door." I chose this because I had a very clear vision of the type of imagery I would choose to go with the song.
It is all original art. Any critique/feed back is welcome. If I were to go back and redo this, I would work harder to get correct exposure and lighting with the digital images during shooting. Right now they are a tad dark, which I did on purpose not thinking clearly at the time of shooting. In retrospective I should have gotten the correct exposure. It would have made the editing and printing much easier.
The first image with both characters on it is the cover art. The second image with a close up of the face and hand is the inner album art, and finally the third one is the CD tray art.
Thanks for checking out my work and I am looking forward to hearing all of your feedback on the images!
18th March 2009, 01:26 PM
I think people are afraid to comment on it, it's pretty scary stuff. I'm not a fan of the dark nature of this but I have to admit the work is well done. From a design element I think it works, I perhaps would have handled the torn effect a little differently by running it at the bottom and using the red as the anchor but that's probably personal perspective. I think I would have handled the back cover differently too by (same thing - use the red as the anchor) and then only have it overlay the left spline and end at the right. For me it's a matter of this is printed material and I like to see things left to right and top to bottom. But considering the subject this would probably work fine since the perspective, imo is a bit twisted it may stand to reason that the artwork would also follow suit by not following norms.
18th March 2009, 03:19 PM
I have to say that from a design point of view and given the dark nature of the material, the beige colour doesn't feel right in context. Pardon my poor comparison, but that brown beige always reminds me of country and western covers or perhaps an Eagles album.
With dark / stark subjects the colour pallet needs to reflect that... BMckain has already pointed out that the red would be the anchor colour, with perhaps everything else needs to be washed out more or given a far bleaker colour space.
Look at covers for Nick Cave albums and they tend to be black and white or faded sepia. Similarly lots of metal albums use brown colours as an element of corruption, rust, disease that kind of thing so to have too much of it detracts from the central image of the blood from the girl in the doorway.
Perhaps another way to look at it is with a Sin City stylistic feel, where the red is the only colour in the image. Desaturate the photos, play with the levels till there's ultra strong contrast and then punch the red out to draw the eye there.
Alternatively go the other way, give the image a more grimy feel, more dirt brushes, stains, coffee rings, give it a faded look of some photographic evidence from a crime scene of an ancient cold case.
Another thing to concentrate on is the type face. Standard Times New Roman or Copperplate / Century Gothic fonts are very clean and easy to read, but they also add to the personality of the images.
You want to put across some emotion with the text as well as the imagery. I've not heard the song, but is the singer wanting to smash the victim in the face angry (presumably they are)? but are they mentally deranged? are they calmly threatening? Or are they some kind of rejected stalker? These things can be hinted at with the use of an interesting typeface.
Check out this link here (http://www.1001fonts.com/fonts_overview.html?page=1&category_id=14&preview_text=) and scope through the 10+ pages of "Scary" fonts for freeware / shareware use surely there's something in there that could convey the emotion behind the title, rather than the studious Times New Roman style fonts.
The dark subject matter may put people off but I think the challenge you've been given is a cool one, you've got a good base to start off with there, but it does need some extra thought beyond the main image.
Keep posting up your work as you develop this idea it'll be cool to watch it progress :)
Hope that helps some :)
18th March 2009, 08:02 PM
wow... what a topic. Biggest things that jumped out at me have been mentioned. The font, the red border either needs to be punched up or subdued some and that beige just seems wrong for the topic.
From a picture standpoint... and I'm not sure that it would apply to a CD cover since its likely not going to have to stand up to a long scrutiny but the eye path of one and two are odd. They don't lead you into the image but cause the eye to jump around. I was always told that the eye tends to start in the fore or background depending on the focus and will then wander through the image back to fore or fore to back. The image should lead the eye into the image not jump it around. I've drawn on the images to show (hopefully) what I mean.
http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/art/2009/03/-18-4280613_tn.jpg (http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/art/2009/03/-18-4280613.jpg) http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/art/2009/03/-18-4280612_tn.jpg (http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/art/2009/03/-18-4280612.jpg) http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/art/2009/03/-18-4280621_tn.jpg (http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/art/2009/03/-18-4280621.jpg)
18th March 2009, 10:54 PM
Wow where to start with all the great feedback! I do appreciate all of it.
bmckain - Thanks for the feedback! I can visualize what you are describing concerning the red torn effect. I tried running it along the bottom previously and I did like it at the bottom as the anchor, but as I looked at the image more I started to feel, atleast for the cover image, that all the weight was at the bottom. So I tried having it at the top to try and balance the composition since both the human figure and text carry a lot of weight and demand a lot of attention. I just felt the two combined at the bottom with nothing at the top seemed unbalanced compositionally. I'll take a second look at having it at the bottom though, maybe with a fresh eye I can make a better judgement call. Also I think it would help for me to emotionally detach from this work.
Mayaman - Thanks for the feedback! I see what you mean about the beige, it really does distract from the image on the inner album art. I was working on all these images very late, and I think I was too tired to make good decisions. I'll play with that some more and see what comes out.
I thought I had a conceptual direction for the font, but as I think about it more it doesn't seem to be as clear to me now. I may have to really sit down and think about it. I kind of had this idea for the text to feel more educated or intellectual because the song itself has a very long sort of breakdown to it with the lead guitar feeling very precise and calculated almost, but yet having a lot of emotion behind it. I looked through some of those font styles you linked me and I agree the text can be pushed further.
Also the idea about making the images seem dirtied up and what not is the direction I was heading, but it sounds like I could have pushed it further. I do like the idea of coffee stains! I have always loved images that look beat to hell!
BillS - Thanks for the feedback! It's interesting to see how someone elses eye moves through an image. I think I have a hard time determining where my eye actually moves when I look at an image.
With the first image you used as an example, I think I was trying to balance the graphic image of the blood with the text. I felt that maybe they would both carry about the same amount of weight, and I thought having them diagonal to each other would balance out. But I do see the problem with where the eye actually travels. I may have to think about the solution to that a bit, since at this point I won't be re-shooting the images.
Thanks for all your feedback, I thought these images were final, but it sounds like I may need to tweak them a bit. It sounds like I am on the right track, but I just need to push a little more. I always appreciate this type of feedback because it really helps me to detach myself emotionally and rethink my decisions, which is a big benefit with this project because I have become quite wrapped up in it.