Archive for the ‘Design’ Category


Designing Wigs (part 3)

Monday, May 16th, 2011

After coming up with some design concepts and doing some sketches and mock-ups, I started work on the final design.

I wanted the design to look like an illustration, so I decided to use Adobe Illustrator. I often hand-draw elements, scan them, and import them into Illustrator. Once in Illustrator, I can convert the scans to vector illustrations and then clean them up as necessary.

This projet wasn’t any different.  I started off with a sketch of the central element – the devil girl – and I inked in an outline using my trusty Pilot Razor Point pen.  You can see I left some things out: hair, facial features, and other details would get attention in Illustrator.

Inked sketch for scanning

After scanning, I converted the outline to vectors and cleaned it up.  I corrected some issues (like the position and size of the back leg), and filled in the main areas with red.  I created white vector shapes for highlights, and added a few shadows. The hair took some time, since I drew the jagged blue highlights by hand.  I also spent some time getting the facial features just right.

Final AI devil girl

Once I had the girl finished, I created some 2-point perspective lines and created the shape of the room and all of the elements of the desk. Originally the desk was green, but I wound up changing it to purple because I liked the way it worked in the final design.

Yes, the desk is purple.

There was a shit-ton of detail work after that: creating the background and background textures, making styrofoam head illustrations and then the wigs that sit on them, bottles for the desk and coolers for the back wall. The last thing that I added was the DD69 logo and the title of the album, and the cover was finished.

The final cover

Once that was finished I added a hue layer, moved some of the titling around,  and resized it for use on the CD surface itself.  Since we were doing a 2-panel insert I only needed to do the design for the inside panel of the insert and then I’d finally be done.

Coming up: the inside panel.

Designing wigs (part 2)

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

After being inspired by a “lowbrow art” sticker we found (which came from a cereal box long, long ago), we wanted to have the album art for “Wigs & Liquor” reflect that vibe. I wanted to have a devil girl on the cover, and I thought it would be cool if she was sitting in some kind of dressing room, maybe at a make-up table with a mirror. And there could be booze bottles and wigs all over the place.

Wigs first sketch

Yes, it's on graph paper

Initially I thought it made sense to have the devil girl facing the mirror. I did some quick sketches and thumbnails to see if it would fly. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version.

I liked the idea of seeing her face in the mirror, but it seemed a little weird to have the cover dominated mostly by her back. I guess it still would have worked, but for some reason it wasn’t working for me. Maybe it was the spine

The other elements, though, seemed cool: the makeup table with the lighted mirror, wigs hanging around, and a bunch of bottles on the table top.

Knowing what I wanted to change, I assembled a quick and dirty photo collage to get a feel for the idea and try out some colors and textures (that’s the image we posted a while ago). For a rough idea it turned out pretty well. So well, in fact, that at one point Mike wanted to just use that image.

Wigs & Liquor rough idea

The photo collage

The rough idea, especially as a photo collage, wasn’t capturing that lowbrow vibe that I wanted. The colors were all wrong, and in my mind it had to be more of an illustration. Anybody can slap a cover together in Photoshop (CD memes, anyone?), but it takes some effort to actually create a drawing by hand.

A lot of effort. Maybe too much effort.

To be concluded…

Designing wigs (part 1)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Wigs & Liquor

The wigs... and the liquor

We’ve had a number of people ask us about the inspiration for (and design process of) the packaging for Wigs & Liquor. Since we had a good time putting it together, we thought we’d share how it happened.

While we were working on the music (you know, the important part) we occasionally threw around some ideas for album covers. They came out of nowhere/everywhere like lots of brainstormed ideas will. Lots of funny turns of phrase, and plenty of idea juice lubing up the old art gears.

We decided to call the album Wigs & Liquor based on the experience of a friend. Essentially their story boiled down to, “You know you’re in a rough neighborhood when you see the wig store right next to the liquor store“. This experience inspired the song of the same name, and eventually we were digging on it for the title.

While all this was going on, we were all looking for artistic inspiration. A chance discovery of an old, freaky “monster” hot rod sticker (a cereal box prize, we think) got us thinking about that feel, which eventually led to finding the art of Coop.

His work is plain awesome, and to us it was stylistically a great representation of our music. It would have been great to get Coop to do the art for our record! Except for two things:

1. We can’t afford that kind of coolness.


2. We couldn’t even ask. And if we felt that way, we probably needed to refer back to #1.

Meh. What to do?

Well, we would have to take that inspiration and do it ourselves.

To be continued…

We want Wigs & Liquor

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

While we’re eagerly awaiting a little DD69 holiday package full of our new CDs, we thought we’d share the final art. It was inspired by the work of Coop, who does some really cool stuff.

Our first video soundtrack

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Our friend Angelia created some cool art and we’re thrilled to be the soundtrack for her latest video.  Check it out:

You can visit the page at YouTube here.