"Not Supposed to Sing the Blues"
CD Single Digital Artwork
Swedish supergroup EUROPE returned to the world stage this past April with the launch of their 9th studio album titled "Bag of Bones". The first single release from this record is "Not Supposed to Sing the Blues" - a 'Zeppelinesque' bluesy rocker.

I was asked to design the cover artwork for this digital release, and had a totally open brief.

The lyrics of the song makes reference to the USA, where the blues originated, so I wanted to hint at something slightly US/Western in style to use as a backdrop. I looked to desert locations, and shot a series of photographs on the edge of the Nularboor Desert in Western Australia. One image stayed with me and that was of a hardy succulent with sharp pointed fronds. It served as the backdrop for the artwork.
The band were shot in a studio in Stockholm, and images delivered to me.
With manipulation of these images a composite was made.
Photo: Fredrik Etoall
Part of my challenge was to create a new EUROPE logo for the "Bag of Bones" campaign.

My thoughts turned to a box of vintage gold monogram letters that I found some years ago in a fleamarket in Vienna, Austria. They were created between 1890 and 1920, and had aged with a wonderful dirty patina over the decades. The letterforms were beautiful, and their rounded serifs looked almost bone-like.

I was excited to re-introduce this "font", and use these letterforms potentially for the first time in over 100 years.
The band were on board!

I scanned each of them, and found, unfortunately, many were damaged, and it was not a full alphabet. So there was work to be done to restore all 26 letters and to create a full set.
With the alphabet now complete, perhaps my biggest challenge came when redesigning the EUROPE logo for this campaign... I wanted to apply the same look, feel and patina to the band logo... a painstaking task in which tiny fragments of the scanned letterforms were applied to the shape of the logo, like a colossal forensic jig-saw puzzle. The logo ultimately took 60 hours to complete.
Finally the task was complete, so we applied the logo and titles to our "Not Supposed to Sing the Blues" composite. 

Eventually we added more mood and drama with a stormy sky and light sprinkle of rain... this symbolised one of those rare occasions in the desert.
The image was given a retro green/blue/golden cast in order to tie in with other graphic elements in the "Bag of Bones" print and web campaign.