For the practical part of my bachelor thesis I’ve set myself the task to create a special edition record cover for the Bright Eyes album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. The project’s background was the question in which way the visual design of a record cover helps to create an added value in combination with music. In addition, the revival of the vinyl record for music enthusiasts gave rise to a realistic scenario for the whole thesis.
The design strategy is based on paintings from the mid 19th century. In those days US-American artists tried to create some kind of New World utopia. Beautiful euphemisms – Gardens of Edens full of harmony, balance and peace – were painted.
Bright Eyes lead singer Conor Oberst sings about the struggles of our lifes, he kind of doubts a perfect world. It was my goal to show his doubt in a graphical way by distorting the perfect romantic sceneries the American Romatics had created. Like Bright Eyes folk music is, the whole thing had to look handmade. Therefore I’ve used several transfer printing technologies. I came up with a metaphoric layer at the outside and a realistic layer (by using newspaper-type pictures) in the inside of the vinyl packaging. I wanted to have the whole thing to be like a book, like a collection of stories. Each song was given a single format to show if it’s a loud, a quite, a hopeful or an oppressive one. The special edition includes a textile fabric made cover, a sewn in booklet with all song texts, a poster with quotes from Conor Oberst and a poster for the record shop.
All rights concerning the Saddle Creek logo, song texts and quotes belong to Conor Oberst and Saddle Creek. This is a fictive student work without any commercial background.