GRADIENT EXPANSION COVER DESIGN
Artwork for CD, digital release and merch by artist Rosie Warburton.
Gradient Expansion is a 2-part sound journey by sound healer Rosie Warburton. The 45-minute album is meant to act as a meditative tool that draws you out of the distractions of the world and into yourself. The album artwork was created using our Producer method and the final package draws on the ideas of expanding and rising sounds, interior versus exterior, and how the sound creates a buffer that alters the world around you.
The cover utilizes a repeating pattern technique borrowed from psychedelic records of the 1970s which we see as a way of communicating “expansion”. A concern of Rosie’s was that we avoid hard-edges and keep things flowing. We achieved this through the processing of the image itself as well as utilizing blur effects that softened the corners.
The color palette was inspired by an old record but we just kept stripping away more and more of the colors so that we were just left with a warm yellow and a red-orange.
The color palette shifts dramatically as you open the CD. When we first started playing with this photo on the inside we kept using dark blues and purples even though we questioned whether it was too much of a visual departure from the cover. Nothing else felt right whereas this felt calming, quiet, and alive. We started to see it as the calming center of the music.
The photo that is used on the cover (albeit abstracted) is used across the interior though its also abstracted here. The use of color overlays (i.e., making a color photo into shades of purple) was a way of interpreting how the album affects your surroundings. The entire record is improvised in one take by one musician with no overdubs so the resultant sounds are clear and minimal—you can always hear what’s happening around you. But what you can hear is colored by the sound journey. That’s the idea we wanted to get across by coloring the photography.
Full front and back cover
The 2 cover images reflect each other as a subtle reference to the idea of echo. The spine is the only part of the exterior with type as we felt that any additional typography would ruin the cover.
One of the cool things about using an image that was so heavily processed is that the graphics flow to other applications easily. A tote bag with his same photo of the musician but in full-color would have made a presumptuous statement. Here it translates beautifully to merch for the artist.