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LITMUS SLAUGHTERBAHN CD ARTWORK

Slaughterbahn cover

This was a major project and a long time in development. This is London spacerockers Litmus’ fourth album, the fourth I have designed for them, and the first since I left the band to live in Sweden.

My relationship with the band has obviously changed from being part of a collaborative discussion in the studio and pub to a more traditional designer/client one, and we started out well with a clear, well defined brief from the band. They really knew what they wanted. The front cover was to be a bridge that drops off into the sea. It was to be in oranges and aquatic blue-greens rather than Litmus’ traditional palette of magenta and indigo. Inside the inlay would be a montage of on-the-road shots.

And as Marek put it, the motifs of the album were, “Water, drowning, driving down a road at night. The road seems to end just after the vehicle headlights stop. A motorway slip road to nowhere or straight into the sea. No choices. Inevitability. Desolation.”

I very quickly got a mental image of how I wanted this to look. It was visually and stylistically specific, inspired by a paper model I had recently made. A swedish winter scene I had built as development for a screen print. For this to work it had to suit the band’s thinking, and fortunately they went for it wholeheartedly.



Creating that vision wasn’t as quick or straightforward as convincing the band though. First I took a couple of trips to Älvsborgsbron, the wonderfully industrial suspension bridge in my adopted home of Gothenburg, and photographed on, under, and around it.

After 500 or so photographs I realised I wasn’t going to be able to get the shot I wanted due to the landscape and the fences of industry. I returned home, studied my photos, read up on the maths and mechanics of suspension bridges, and set about building my own on the kitchen table. 2 or 3 not-quite-scale interpretations later I had a 3 metre long model I could view and shoot from any angle I wanted.



From this research I was able to build smaller models of half bridges and refine them towards the final diorama – a foreshortened relief that lived in the awkward terrain somewhere between 3-dimensional reality and the illusory perspective of a drawing.



Many edits and iterations later it all came together. I had something I could photograph and work into the final cover image. Once in photoshop, a number of sketches and tests along the way led to the final idea of a journey from the bridge approach road on the front cover into the ocean depths on the back cover, via the inlay and disc graphics inside.

→  SEE THE FINAL PRODUCT IN THE PORTFOLIO
→  MORE MORE PROCESS AND DEVELOPMENT IMAGES ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE
 

RELATED LINKS:

→  YOU CAN HEAR SLAUGHTERBAHN HERE
→  AND YOU CAN BUY IT HERE


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