Creative Process: mock record label

Mock record label

I had been wanting to come up with a visual way to connect the thematic content of my Perpetual FOREIGNER t-shirt with the current wave of xenophobia that’s manifesting across the country as legislation in states like Arizona (legalizing racial profiling) and Oklahoma (banning Muslim religious law).

Inspiration for this project came to me in the form of song titles: “By the Time I get to Phoenix (I’ll be profiled)“, and “I Fought (Sharia) Law, but the Law won,” based on familiar tunes, a couple cover versions playable here: (click to listen)

By the Time I Get to Phoenix, by Glen Cambell

I Fought The Law, The Clash

Since I had already packaged the t-shirts using an LP motif to play off of the 70’s rock reference in the t-shirt title, the idea came to turn the song titles into one of those stickers that were applied to shrink-wrapped LPs to advertise hit singles and the like.  A few hand-me-down examples pulled off the shelf:

Ramblin' Man Brand New Key

Jungle Boogie

I wanted to take it a step further in connoting LP by referring to the actual label on the record itself, and mix that up with the above.

Next step:  research past label designs.  I chose this one for simplicity, legibility and contemporaneity with the band.

Atlantic record label

Atlantic label

And got to work.

Retro Remix

First version: basic idea, needs logo

Kettle logo

First logo try: tea kettle, too much the pot calling the kettle black

2nd version

Teapot logo?

teacup logo

Tea cup?

It turns out the official Tea Party doesn’t have very fun iconography to appropriate.  Settled on tea bag.

Xeno Phobic tea bag

The purple “tea” in the bag is modeled after the mountain majesty of Mt. Whitney in this photo of Manzanar Relocation Center taken by Dorothea Lange.

Photograph of Dust Storm at Manzanar War Relocation Authority Center, 07/03/1942

Photograph of Dust Storm at Manzanar War Relocation Authority Center, 07/03/1942

teabag version

Needed more: movement and content

Arizona flag

Enrich the content: the State Flag of Arizona

Arizona flag version

This reminded me of . . .

Sun Records label

. . . the legendary Sun Record label, which led to . . .

AZ Retrograde

this lettering, which also created space for "stereo" "typed." Still needed something more . . .

"Running immigrants"

I recalled seeing these signs when I was attending grad school down at UC San Diego

A Navajo graphic artist working for Cal Trans in San Diego named John Hood designed it to prevent highway crossing deaths of border crossers.  Hood’s graphic has taken on a life of its own on both sides of the fight over immigration.  Dare I as well?

Target practice

Target practice

Final choices

Close to final choices (click to enlarge). The guard tower is from Manzanar; too busy and phallo-iconic for this purpose. Same goes for the towers from Guantanamo I tried.

Deadline-induced sleep deprivation can lead to things like these . . .


Details that never made it: voter approved... xenophobic... scapegoat

(The Scape goat appropriates the coat of arms of Lublin, a city in Poland.)

As the deadline of the sfmoma Member Preview rapidly closed in, time and technical constraints (inkjet printer bleed) forced me to simplify down to essentials, just in time.

Here’s how it ended up.

Final version

Final version.

The printed version, removable for creative re-use . . .

3 Responses to “Creative Process: mock record label”

  1. 1 Eric January 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Very cool! thanks for sharing this depiction of the creative process!

  2. 2 Gina February 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Really brilliant. Love this.

  1. 1 Inspired Packaging for Shadowshop @ sfmoma « Scott Tsuchitani Trackback on December 1, 2010 at 2:45 am

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