JOHN WIESE AND MERZBOW “MULTIPLICATION” COVER DESIGNS
Album cover design exercise by Joshua Hardisty to demonstrate how to work fast.
These were made as part of live demonstration for high-school students in MCAD’s PCSS program in 2016. The 2-days before this were spent generating abstract imagery through paint, drawing, photography, video and whatever the students could imagine. Now they were going use that imagery to design 20 record covers for John Wiese and Merzbow’s collaborative harsh noise LP “Multiplication.”
I wanted to show the class how to use layout software like Adobe InDesign in a more gestural, fast-paced fashion so that they could try lots of things quickly and make discoveries sooner. I designed these 23 covers over the course of the class while also taking breaks to work with students to push them to try more and think less.
This background image was from my #abstraktion folder filled with thousands of abstract photos of garbage. I then just start moving type around on the photo or adjusting the crop. As soon as I have a feeling of “That’s cool”, I duplicate the spread in InDesign and move onto to another option.
This image was created the day before by scanning plastic while drawing on it with markers at the same time. I probably made 60 of these and ran the scanner at 600dpi so that it would scan really slowly and give me more time to move the pieces around.
The previous image was cool but its always good to see what the internal structure of the type wants to do.
Monotoned version of the scanner art. When I hit that “Good Enough” moment on one design I'll then try that same type out on another image. To me this is how you get somewhere unexpected. You devise a process that ensures you will experiment.
Sometimes you have to try out a visual pun based on the content. You can’t always declare that something is corny just because it’s obvious.
The space vibe of this crop made me think of the Alien title sequence so I made some type inspired by it.
2 years later I still love these.
In this instance I just pulled the type from one of the previous pieces where the transparency had a real reason for being there (i.e., it worked with the composition). Now its just interesting and maybe more unexpected.
Note to non-designers: this font is called DIN. Its impossible to use badly. No matter what you do, it will look great. #lifehacks
I love the gnarliness of the orange/brown scans but its interesting how the type just doesn’t work on them. They just get so vanilla.
My perspective is that when you have a quick-turn project a methodology like this one will generate better work because its designed for speed. What people often do is just cut down how much time they can spend on each phase of the project but the problem is that they often end up with something that just feels like a “lite” version of a real project.—@mvajoshua