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…

As some of you may know Riki Milligan, Eccentric Arcade’s lead singer, lost his father this week.  All of us at Figment would like to extend our condolences to Riki and his family for their loss.  In Riki’s father’s honor, we thought it only fitting to have a Cover-sation about Eccentric Arcade’s “Machines Again” album cover.  So let us know what you think.

6 Responses to “Cover-sation: Eccentric Arcade’s “Machines Again””

  1. eric Says:

    I think what I love is the steam-punk vibe and the incredible detail in this cover. I’m assuming this is a found image that you manipulated? The band’s name in the keys is fantastic, and I love the font you used for the album title. It all works and gives you a real feel for the album’s theme.

  2. frizbee Says:

    First, let me just say thanks for the kind words and the posting of this “Cover-sation” in my dad’s honor. I can’t tell you guys how much it means to me.

    Secondly, thanks for the kind words regarding the cover. It is indeed a found image that I manipulated, but this was actually not the original idea I had for the “Machines Again” cover. The album title was something I came up with many years ago when I was a kid. I used to create fake bands and their albums long before I discovered Figment, so this place was a natural fit for me. I don’t recall exactly how or why I decided on the title “Machines Again”, but I vividly remember the cover I envisioned.

    I wanted a black and white picture of a stereotypical Leave It To Beaver family sitting around the dinner table, but instead of food on the plates I wanted there to be various pieces of machinery. Plates heaped high with engine parts and frayed wiring, and little Billy staring at his plate with a look of chagrin on his face as though the machinery was leftover meatloaf. I wanted it to seem as though little Billy were whining “Machines, again?” Don’t ask me what the deeper meaning behind all this was, because I honestly don’t remember, but that was the cover I always imagined.

    Believe me, I tried to create this same image when it came time to release this album. And if I were to tackle it again, I might be able to this time around. However, at the time I was stuck using Gimp instead of my beloved Photoshop, and my photo manipulation skills were quite rusty. Also, I could never find the right sort of family photo that I was aiming for. Somehow in the midst of trying to come up with a new idea for the cover art, I started happening upon a lot of steampunk imagery. I’ve always loved the steampunk movement, and I decided that it really fit the album, particularly a song called “Hollowmade” (yet another idea that formed in my youth) which, sadly, didn’t make the album. But don’t worry, something tells me you’ll hear it some day…

    The placement of the band name seemed like a no brainer, but it was the placement of the album title that perplexed me in the beginning stages of this design. I thought that putting it anywhere in the empty space around the “typewriter” caused the title to become lost in the mix, and leaving a huge amount of negative space in the orb-like view screen. I wasn’t sure how placing the title within the view screen would look, but damn it if it doesn’t work splendidly. I don’t recall the name of the font that I used at the moment, but I’ll get back to you on that one.

    It’s amazing how an image can really shape the overall feel of an album. “Machines Again” was not intended to be a steampunk musical novella, but everything sort of fell into place and that’s precisely what it became.

  3. theHoseman Says:

    I’ll be commenting on this stellar cover soon.

  4. childofalma Says:

    There’s so many fantastic ideas and elements on display in this classic cover that they defy description.

  5. theHoseman Says:

    I hesitate to say this is Frizbee’s best work, only because all of his designs are phenomenal. That being said, this IS one of the coolest designs.

    The band name in the keys is a brilliant touch that is subtle yet powerful. Couple that with the title and it gives you a perfect example of Frizbee’s greatest design strength…typography.

    The over all design meshes so completely with the theme of the album, which is something that I always look for. There’s not much more I can say except I really dig this cover a lot!

  6. frizbee Says:

    Thanks, Hoseman. Typography is something that I always take very seriously, because it really makes or breaks a cover in my opinion. I’ve seen potentially great covers ruined with bad text placement or generic fonts. It can be a struggle, and many times it’s the typography that holds up a design for me, but I hate letting a design that I’m not 100% satisfied with slide.

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