& the japanese EP_121810

65daysofstatic.com is one of those sites where the work on it is continuous and so we’re never sure when to stop for a second and make a record of our progress. fans of the band will know that major redevelopments began back with the release of their last full length studio album, and that it’s taken on 2-3 guises since then.

based primarily around the original wordpress foundations that the band laid themselves back with the release of one time for all time (their second studio album), the open-ended nature of that fantastic (and free) platform has meant we can keep reskinning, redesigning and evolving the site whilst keeping the core database.

the latest version of the 65 site is more of a hub that incorporates not only their blog, tour dates and forum, but also their twitter, flickr, soundcloud and vimeo feeds. the design is of course based around their new album’s rather?fotografik aesthetic and was intended to allow the band a freedom from making multiple updates across their various outlets, and give fans a one stop shop for all information about the band.

in other news, with the japanese heavy sky EP tour on the horizon and a special edition of the EP in the works, we got talking to the band about a possible variation on the established cover design. after some deliberation we agreed that a design that felt more in sync with the japanese release of their single?weak4 would be appropriate. keen to explore that release’s more geometric artwork styling, we set about developing a design that echoed the original EP photography whilst exploring the implications of the EP’s title further. the resulting cover (above) was inspired in part by a series of early drawings and paintings by the artist thomas newbolt.

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sonoio blue_072810

alessandro cortini, who the vast majority will have seen singing backing vocals and playing guitars / synths for nine inch nails or muse, is of course a formidable musician in his own right. if you haven’t heard the song problem me by his band modwheelmood then you’re one jam short of a damn good mix.?SONOIO is the name of his new project, and it’s a 9 track album created entirely on?buchla modular synths.

a fan of our record sleeve and poster work for mellowdrone, alessandro got in touch with us with regards to creating artwork to accompany his new music. 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 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.

it was a long process – many versions were created and many strong ideas hit the cutting room floor. after much deliberation we all agree that the cover you see above though is the most profound and succinct description of the record’s musical content that we could come up with. as ever we hope you can form your own interpretations of the artwork’s relationship to the music and can let it grow with you as you get to know the songs.

the album, prints and t-shirts are now available in multiple formats on the SONOIO website, which was created by crosshatch.

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thomasnewbolt.com upgrade_052310

recently we decided to revisit one of our first websites and revamp it a bit. it’s a site that continues to attract people’s attention and represented, back then, our first truly experimental work. we were given carte blanche to make the site any way we wanted, and in our miserable, dank, little east-london bedrooms, it meant a great deal to us to finally be able to prove our worth.

that said, we believe hugely in the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ dogma and so have made the following respectful list of subtle changes to the site that we feel were only necessary to keep it breathing and satisfying its users.

  1. actionscript 3 codebase
  2. xml driven content
  3. h264 video
  4. additional ‘water colour’ interactive ‘sketch book’
  5. full screen functionality
  6. UI speed increase
  7. new backdrop ‘studio photos’
  8. higher quality exports of ‘day’ and ‘night’ short films

we hope, if you were a fan before, that you enjoy the upgrade. for those of you who’ve never seen the site before, we hope it finds a new and satisfied audience, and of course does a handsome job of introducing you to the artist’s work.


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newbolt open studio posters_052310

we just created the 2010 open studio poster / invite for english painter, thomas newbolt. given there’s a style developing in the designs we’ve done for these that differs from our usual fare, we thought it worth posting last year’s and this year’s poster on the site.

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thomasnewbolt.com has won a gold medal in the november 2003 american design awards. thank you thomas for giving us a chance to really prove our worth.

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