the pony collaboration_record sleeve
we here at version have been following the pony collaboration since they formed back in 2003 and have been strong supporters of their unique brand of wonky alternative country music. james scallan, the lead singer of the band whom is a friend of version from years past got together with us to collaborate (as pony so often like to do) on a creative venture to encapsulate all that went into those recordings but in graphical form. i think that between us and the pony collaboration we have created a perfect package for those wonky alternative country tracks. enjoy.
their debut album is out in april 2007 on series 8 records.
the album fisticuffs is due later this year on lab beat records.
mellowdrone_record sleeve + poster
protomen_record sleeve + poster
makeup and vanity set_record sleeve
the pony collaboration_record sleeve
james, the head of the pony collaboration, came to us with a few photographs he had sourced as a starting point for the art direction on their second album. visually, the route we took was to show the new album as reflection of their first. this is especially apparent with the cd itself which reflects a more sombre outlook than the jolly pink one from their first release. both james and version wanted to take the visual cues from the first album and reflect it as if seen in a forgotten dirtied mirror, very much like the source photography he gave us.
their new album is out now on series 8 records. the new digital single will be out in may 2010.
sonoio blue_record sleeve + print
now we say 'artwork' as opposed to 'design work' because he was particularly interested in the looser, more painterly / emotional elements of our work over some kind of cleaner, tighter design effort. modwheelmood (his previous band) had been heavy on the minimal design / die-cutting and this time, the record being much more personal to him, alessandro wanted a more cathartic, hand-made quality.
we talked for a while and decided that we should try to create something that had a european quality to it - something that harked back to alessandro's roots. combining this with a visual device that we felt was most honest to the lyrical content on the record, we came up with the two matisse-esque characters you see on the cover, who are trying to cover up the holes in their chests. the colour choices were then informed in part by the colour of the buchla synth itself. the pencil marks are that of my father thomas newbolt, who's drawings we cut up and relocated elements of for the sake of adding more movement / life to the collage.
sonoio red_music video, record sleeve + print
furthermore alessandro was toying with the idea of a music video this time and asked that we might pitch a few ideas to him for a couple of different songs on the record. we came up with 3-4 ideas he chose the most 'live performance' based concept that we had and soon things were under way. the video was for the song enough, which to us was one of the songs that immediately jumped out on the record when hearing it for the first time. once more we recruited the talents of matt sundin (who helped us shoot the 65daysofstatic and war widow album covers) and soon after alessandro was flying to new york to shoot the video with us in brooklyn.
you can read more about making the artwork + video here.
big black delta_record sleeve
polinski_record sleeve + music video
the discussions for how to handle the artwork for the album started years before the record was even a twinkle in his eye. we'd talked at length for years about films, musics, books, games and designs that appeal to us for whatever reason. whether it be the books of jeff noon or the cassette loading games of sinclair zx spectrum, there was an innate understanding of what this solo project would demand in terms of artwork the moment the demos started to come together.
the final artwork started with us coming up with a story that would capture paul's feelings about various things and how he wanted to translated those into a science fiction tale of some kind. the next step was padding that story out with various touchstone visual elements and then translating those into a series of panels that we could use for the album and any singles. the first image we put together turned out to be the album cover as it is now, and this went onto influence paul's approach to making the music. he then sent us more demos that inspired the creation of more panels, and so the back and forth went until we had enough to illustrate the story / world we had created.
the music video for the album's first single, stitches, was an attempt to bring back the feeling of using the zx spectrum computer, whilst detailing some of the album's narrative elements. more details on the making of the video to follow soon.