For a personal exercise, I created a visual concept and art direction for Madonna's "Confessions on a dance floor" album. I also designed covers and packaging for three formats: LP, CD and a promotional CD.
Released in 2005, "Confessions on a dance floor" became one of her most iconic albums and includes the #1 singles "Hung Up" and "Sorry".
The album is heavily inspired by the 70s and 80s Disco, with references to ABBA, Donna Summer, Pet Shop Boys, the Bee Gees and also Madonna's earlier years.
I designed the key elements to be used on the album covers, artworks and other hypothetical graphic materials.
The main typography consists of two distinct font families: a sans-serif (Nunito) and a script (Shabby Chic).
For the artist's name, I customised the extra bold weight of Nunito and displayed it seven times one bellow the other. In the end, I applied a gradient filter with yellow, purple and pink. There are two options available: solid and outline.
The colours were chosen to communicate the storyline presented in the album, that goes from happiness and enlightenment (yellow) to more personal and reflective themes (purple); and after all the confessions, Madonna reaches her inner peace (pink). The colour pallet also refers to the Disco Era.
For the "Confessions on a dance floor" lettering, I used the calligraphic font Shabby Chic. The usage of such a font category was widespread during the late 70s and earlier 80s on Pop Music imagery. The handwritten typography also brings the idea of personality.
The original art direction proposed by Giovanni Bianco is full of light and glow effects, and there's a sense of depth through the concept of an actual dance floor lit by a disco ball. The promotional pictures are also heavily retouched, from Madonna's skin to her hair and clothing colours.
For my proposal I approached it differently. I picked up five outtake pictures from Steven Klein's album photoshoot and I opted for editing Madonna's appearance as little as possible to preserve the 70s/80s looking and feeling.
For the visual aspect of the photos, I wanted to bring the sense of movement, where Madonna is interacting on the dance floor, feeling the songs that are being played -- exactly how the pictures were shot.
I also sought for a handmade/crafted design, just as it used to be made before the middle 80s, what is a primordial part of the old school album cover aesthetics.
The final pictures consist of hard cut edges with 3D overlapping and halftone effects.
The 3D idea was chosen because of its "retro-futuristic vision of the future" in an attempt to connect the old and the new, the Disco Era and 2005's Madonna.