January 13th, 2012

Cover-sation is a new feature here on Figment News where we’ll post an album cover from Figment and ask you what you think of it.  Good, bad, indifferent?  What do you like about the cover’s design?  What don’t you like?  How might you have approached the same cover?  In short, we’ll have a conversation about an album cover design…a Cover-sation if you will…

I’d like to thank Figment player frizbee for suggesting this feature.  It was an idea he hatched while going through his Figment album collection and listening to older albums.  While doing it he realized how much he appreciated the design work that went into so many covers on Figment and thought, I’d love to be able to talk to other players about some of the covers I think are great.  So thanks frizbee for suggesting such a great feature, and since he came up with the idea we thought it only fair that he get the first opportunity to suggest an album cover (in subsequent Cover-sations we’ll ask other players to do the same).  So what was his choice?

So let’s have a Cover-Sation!

10 Responses to “Cover-sation”

  1. formerwageslave Says:

    Definitely one of the best covers on Figment– it actually looks like a real classic/psychedelic rock LP cover, from the retro font choice to the muted, aged-postcard tint of the photo. Clever use of the band name on the hood and side of the car. Just wonderful all the way around.

    I assume the “Bang Bang” from the title is a reference to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… if I had designed the cover, I probably wouldn’t have been able to resist pulling in some of the vibrant yellows and reds from the CCBB movie car’s fins, but here, the use of a rusty clunker outfitted with insect wings is an awesome idea.

  2. frizbee Says:

    It was a tough call choosing the first cover to be showcased for this new feature, but I had to go with Wabi Sabi Bang Bang. It’s one of my most favorite covers on the site, and it’s really some of theHoseman’s best design work. I love everything about this cover. I love the font choice, the color scheme, the old car, the texture of the overall image. It’s all just fantastic. One of my favorite parts is, what I’m assuming was a happy accident, how the grill of the car looks like teeth when paired with the eyeball headlights, giving the car a sort of creepy/dopey grin. I also wonder how many people don’t notice Zander’s name across the hood of the car in the classic Chevy font?

  3. theHoseman Says:

    I’ll exempt myself from any comments about what I like since I would be most certainly biased, but am happy to answer any questions or offer any insights to the design process.

    Incidentally, Frizbee, the grill teeth was no accident. In fact it is precisely why I added the eyes to the headlights. Glad the hood nameplate got noticed. I was concerned it was too subtle a touch!

  4. TMTYTF Says:

    It is definitely a clever cover and I have to admit that I didn’t notice the group’s name on the front of the car when this release first came out. Now that I see it, I think it looks rad. That was a nice touch. I underestimated this one at first but I think Wabi Sabi Bang Bang is a professional looking cover with a great design. kudos!

  5. Eric Says:

    hoseman – Was this cover a collage that you created and then manipulated? If so, where did you find the elements? I too didn’t notice “Zandergriff Miggs” on the hood, but it’s those little touches that really take a cover like this great. I also love the Wabi Sabi concept interwoven w/ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang idea. Funny, but fitting at the same time. What prompted it? Lastly, I think it’s definitely a cover that if I saw it online or in a store, I’d want to check it out and listen to the music and that is ultimately the job of an album cover design. It draws you in and makes you want to hear the music. Well done hoseman!

  6. theHoseman Says:

    Eric – This one was not a collage. The seed of the idea started when I stumbled on an article about this car in a Hot Rod mag. The owner (who uses this as a daily driver) mentioned wabi sabi when talking about his clunker. I felt the car not only looked like something Zander might drive, but wabi sabi seemed to jive with the Owl’s improvisational style. So the idea was born. I cut out the car and photographed it on a white background. For some reason, my mind kept adding the bang bang to wabi sabi , so my quest for wings was on. I tried a variety of different insects before settling on the ones in the final pic. I found a background pic with sky & clouds and severely cropped it to show just a touch of the ground.

    Then I added the eyes to the headlights along with the owl and band name to appear painted on the car (or in the case of Zander, as a chrome model nameplate). The album title font is one of many 60’s era fonts I like to use for the Owls.

    Sorry this is not well written – trying to do this on my phone because my computer is at the Apple store getting a new, souped up hard drive. This one was definitely one of my more time consuming designs, mostly because I was bouncing it back & forth between 3 or 4 different softwares to achieve the different effects. This was pre Photoshop for me – now it could be replicated using just that.

    Thanks guys for your reviews and kind words!

  7. Childofalma Says:

    This cover is badass. It looks professional. I can’t find a single flaw within the design. Well done is an understatement.

  8. frizbee Says:

    If this was done without the use of Photoshop, may I ask what programs you did use? I’ve heard of other people using Piknik, Gimp, and similar programs, but the effects you achieved in this design can easily be done in Photoshop, so I’m curious as to what program(s) you used instead. I’ve used Gimp in the past, and though I suppose it’s a decent substitution for Photoshop, I don’t much care for the overall experience of Gimp. I find it’s layout a bit cumbersome, and it’s rather tricky to do even the simplest of tasks. Back in the day, I only had access to MS Paint, which I used to play around with all the time. You don’t have many options with MS Paint, so you end up with very basic, minimalist design work, but I sometimes miss that. The lack of advancement in the program made you work with what you had, and I still managed to create some great stuff with it.

  9. theHoseman Says:

    Frizbee- Most of the design work was done in Pages. A few effects were achieved in Image Tricks, a free or cheap app, some done on Picnik and then a photo ager app to get the grainy, old postcard look ( I can’t recall the name of that app at the moment…I’m not at my computer.)

  10. poppinfresh Says:

    I really have nothing worthwhile to add to the cover-sation, but I wanted to add my two cents. First, kudos to frizbee for coming up with such a great idea! I don’t consider myself to be very artistic — but I would like to be, so I really enjoy discussions of other people’s work. Also, I cannot think of a finer way to start off what I hope will become a regular series than with this hoseman classic. Hoseman makes some truly great covers, so pulling apart the components of this one was quite edu-taining! I can hardly wait for the next cover-sation!

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