Collaborative Work – Rock EP & Singles cover art

So if you were to check out my work in progress wix site over at you might notice one of the buttons on my navigation bar is labeled “collaborators”…

I’ve always been of the mind set that working with other people brings out unique outcomes and results that might never happen whilst working alone… and so I’m currently looking to work collaboratively with some of the other designers I know.

Case in point was a recent project working with one of my teaching colleagues Dave Eccles.

Dave is a graphic designer and creative in his own right, whose professional design work predominantly tends to be informed by the branding, graphics and corporate ID markets.

Very different from my own.

However, after meeting up last year we pretty soon discovered that we had similar tastes in music and film and immediately got on like a house on fire.

This year has seen us chatting about the possibilities of working together and after a brief introduction to some musicians he knew at an acoustic night they ran he suggested that we collaborate on the sleeve designs for the bands current EP and single release…

It was great to be asked to be involved in this and I was eager to see how a collaboration of this nature might turn out.

The plan was that I provided the illustrations for the sleeve designs and Dave would address the layout and any additional graphic elements and run the liaison/art direction from the bands end. .

I started by throwing some ideas into play looking at the three song titles we’d been given, namely “Believe in Me”, “Brother” and “Truth & Lies”…

After a lot of playing around with thumbnails (the images above were a mix of photo-manipulation and “photoshopped” imagery pulled from the net while in the early style search phase), two diverging and distinct ideas began to emerge; one that showed an abandoned warehouse environment, with chairs and other objects taking center stage. I guess I was influenced by the song titles to picture pseudo-military imagery involving interrogation and propaganda style visuals, “Brother” conjuring the idea of soldiers, “Truth and Lies” the interrogation imagery etc.

The second look involved close ups of a heavily tattooed figure in various states of melancholy… Head in hands, looking at his hands, and from behind with head bowed… this was by far the more successful group of images and the band and Dave thought we should pursue this train of thought. The band also liked the notional logo I designed and asked that that be finalised a little more (I would later create that in Adobe Illustrator and send it off to Dave for artworking).

I started to experiment with different media, drawing, more photo-manipulation based on photos of myself, digital painting and hybrids and crossovers of all these… thus originating my own imagery.

The only real stipulation from the band on the images being to tone down the arcane references in the tattoos.

Not a problem.

I settled for one of these hybrid styles collaging photos over drawings and thumbnails, then using photoshop to push and paint the the detail into the right places and forms.

I dispensed with the abundant tattoo look as Dave had said he would like to work on one main tattoo design for each sleeve design, to be laid in on the completion of my part of the process.

Both of us were unsure how this might work out as we had very different styles of working, but collaborations are experimental in nature so we ploughed ahead.

It was great to see Dave’s final designs for the first time… and immediately I added my favourite piece of Dave’s art (below) to the favourite image I’d produced (the skull tattoo was actually designed to go on “Brother”‘s bicep image, and in the final prints later did)…Dave had created his tattoe designs in Adobe Illustrator, and the vector style graphics laid over the more organic painting style I’d worked in immediately gave the impression of a real tattoo.

…and it looked great (click on the image below to see a larger version).

I couldn’t have been happier with the result… The images that we produced for the band, would go on to be tweaked, toned down and twiched about a bit, but it was the point were Daves tattoo design was laid over my painting that I was happy that the collaboration had worked.

The sleeve of the EP looked great, posters would have to be designed at a later date, and the art prepped for the singles releases…

But overall the collaboration was a success I feel and I look forward to the next one.

You can find out more about the band Lavellion and buy the singles by going to the band’s site at:


~ by hesir on November 2, 2010.

One Response to “Collaborative Work – Rock EP & Singles cover art”

  1. […] a good night was had by all… Here’s a couple of photos… the band are Lavellion – the guys we did the sleeve artwork for a while ago – […]

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