Designing "Note to Self"
Note to Self is Charleston-based bassist/guitarist Christian Wood's debut solo record. Christian has a very specific sound to his music - I think of it as Ryan Adams meets The Beach Boys, each of his songs bearing a retrospective tonality bringing to mind classic Americana blending Rock and Roll with a delightful Singer/Songwriter vibe.
When Christian came to me regarding the design of his new record, I jumped at the opportunity to explore design in the same way he explores his music: looking back.
First we created images. I happen to have an affinity for black and white film photography. It's kind of my thing. I shot on Lomography's Lady Grey 400, my favorite film stock. We chose this stock to accentuate the physical nature of the sandy beach using the beautiful film grain that characterizes this highly-sensitive film.
Several creative choices were involved in our beach shoot that are very subliminal but highly important to the end product. First, patriotic nuances like Christian's hat on the CD image, the denim jacket and the black Levi's he's wearing, and, second, paying homage to the days of Surf Rock through the images of surfers braving the winter swell.
Once the images were shot, processed, and digitized, we made the decision to use Cooper as our primary font for the cover's typography. This font was a prominent design element in records from the 50's and 60's, and was used on records created by such artists as Simon & Garfunkel and The Beach Boys, a perfect reference for the motif we were attempting. We applied a slight texture from Lost and Taken to ensure our text felt like a tangible part of the design process and not an afterthought.
In the end, we accomplished exactly the vibe we were striving for and these very specific design elements reinforce not only the sound of the record, but the lyrical narrative, as well.
Note to Self is available on iTunes.