I've had the opportunity to design several cd packaging projects for Appleseed Recordings over the years, but working on a Pete Seeger project is always an honor.
For his latest release, officially available this Tuesday Sept 25th, this project encompassed a few challenges.
The first being how to combine photography the client was emphatic about utilizing while creating a package that would showcase Pete, his music, as well as all the supporting copy/artists that needed to be on the cover art.
I proposed several cover options. The first round of rough drafts utilized hand drawn typography that would be merged with the supplied photos. As art director of the packaging, I was initially excited to propose this direction, but as most of you in the industry know, client expectations often collide with an art directors proposed vision; so we scratched that concept (hindsight: it did compete with the photograph). I then decided to go in the opposite direction and create a design which utilized typography that was much more clean and allowed the photo to be the main focus.
Helvetica is a font that is often debated in the world of graphic design. Many corporate logos and designs utilize this typeface, but I decided to use it for the reason that it is mainly a "non descript font". As mentioned on fontfeed.com " For many purposes, typography is more about content than style. Fans of Beatrice Warde will tell you that typographers should communicate without distraction. Helvetica, with its simple, unadorned forms, is the perfect crystal goblet. Even its ubiquity contributes to its neutrality — letters so common they become invisible."
So juxtaposing a detailed landscape photo of Pete standing in front of a railroad track, with an 'invisible font', and a strategically thought out order of hierarchy position, was the best choice. The client was not only happy with the outcome, but I was as well– the cover is a nice balance of type that allows the photo to sing.
Even if you are not a fan of folk music, this 2-cd digipak set is a must for your list, and is available on www.appleseedmusic.com.