Dragging my heart around

08/03/2013 § Leave a comment

I was poking around on bandcamp today and was struck by this album art. It’s by Annie Hardy aka Giant Drag. Click on it for a larger pic.
I can’t think of any way to improve it. Does that mean it’s perfect?
GiantDragBeautiful photography. Don’t you love the backlighting? And the pose.
Then there’s the composition. That lovely expanse of starry sky.
The title is great in itself. But I love the way it sits at the top not trying to intrude with the understated G and D.
But what about the actual music? Here’s a sample:

Typography 101

21/10/2012 § 5 Comments

There’s a nice gang of kids in out street. Lot’s of activity and they are always polite when you have drive through their cricket game.
I was putting my kit in the car one evening and:
–      Toby: Do you play drums?
–      Me: Yes, I do.
–      Toby: So do I. In the school band.
–      Me: Good on you.
–      Toby: But I’m not very good.
–      Me: That’s ok. Neither am I.

Anyway, it looks like they found a dead lorikeet and buried it. Lots of time and effort seems to have gone into this grave.
The inscription is written on a handy piece of foam which means it can be stuck with a stick. But there’s not much room for the lettering. It might have gone at the top but it’s too late – the RIP and scribbly bit is already written. So it had to be broken up. Oops, the hyphen seems to be an equals sign.
Typographically speaking, is it wrong? No. Because, as well as the actual words themselves, good typography has meaning. Characters have character. There is a visual story as well as a written one.
The words say a lorikeet is buried there. The sign says so much more.

A nice pair

09/04/2012 § Leave a comment

I stumbled upon this on the interweb today. It’s an album design from the 1970s by the British design duo Hipgnosis. Two thoughts* struck me.

1. The pun. If I was designing this today I would hesitate to suggest the pun. Clients are very serious about their works and their image and sadly today’s rock bands are more serious about such things than anyone. They might want something that’s fun and may well be enticed into a bit of bare bottom action but if it’s cheesy it must be clearly seen as ironic cheese.
2. The  montage. This was done long before Photoshop had been thought of. Today, I would be photoshopping like crazy to make it look real. But I like the fake look. The message is clear and it just adds to the whole we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-serious feel.

When the revolution comes puns will be considered high art and unconvincing visuals will be the new black.

*Two at once. That’s pretty good for me.

Barking up a wrong tree

04/03/2012 § 9 Comments

Had coffee today with my wife and my daughter and her boyfriend. I told them about joining the band I’m playing in and it finished with my daughter feeling very sorry for me. She said it was so full of cringe that I was a cross between David Brent and Mr Bean. I realised there’s a story here.

I was asked by a friend to join his band because they had a gig at a local street festival and needed a drummer. So I went along and met Chattelz – a nice bunch of blokes. We rehearsed and started working out a set list. Then they landed another gig at a community fete which was actually before the original gig (help, I’m using the word ‘gig’ too much). Meanwhile they were saying that they should make some sort of effort at promotion. I told them that I was their man because they needed my awesome graphic design skills (often my posts contain irony but there is none in this sentence). So I made business cards and flyers (above) and asked for access to the myspace page so I could edit it (still a work in progress btw). On the back of the flyer were some photos I had taken at rehearsal – Col, Pete, Mark, Greg and me with mini bios under the heading ‘Meet Chattelz’.
Then we played at the fete. I turned up and the others were wearing fedoras. “You didn’t tell me about the detective hats.” I said. At the next rehearsal I turned up with a fedora. “Hey guys, I’ve got a detective hat.” Eventually I got around to the myspace page. That’s where I made my terrible discovery.
The band bio had all the other members plus a ‘guest musicians’ section with the name of someone who played sax, someone who played keyboards, someone who sang backing vocals and (shock, horror) the previous drummer.
The penny dropped.
I hadn’t been asked to join the band. I had been asked to join them for a particular performance. The whole join-the-band and drummer-in-a-band thing was presumption on my part. Oops. To be honest, I felt a little bit queasy in the tummy here. So I spoke to my friend and apologised for getting it wrong. He said the guys were ok with it and not to worry. Aw, thanks guys. But still – whoo boy.

Rise to vote, sir

27/02/2012 § 4 Comments

It’s been a big day today. First our Prime Minister had her leadership challenged – which turned out how we all expected – then came the Oscars which also had no real surprises.
But don’t be mislead by my headline. This post is about palindromes.
I’ve had a busy week with publication deadlines and stuff but I did find time for an enjoyable project. The article was about words, how they create identity and how this influences meaning. So I thought I’d use a palindrome.

While I scoured the internet for a decent palindrome I was struck by how silly so many of them are. To adhere to the rule of backwards=frontwards they often make very little sense. When you get a chance, do some googling.
I also think it’s a shame that the word ‘palindrome’ isn’t one. Equally sad that  ‘onomatopoeia’ doesn’t sound like anything.

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