As part of my work for the independent record label Lumenessence Records I produced a series of 12” EP and album covers, as well as other supporting material such as advertising, for their up-and-coming artist Joe ‘Sketchie’ Shetcliffe.

The basic art direction for each of these releases stemmed from a piece of leather craft the recording artist had produced – stamped with the name of the album: “Rain by High Lantern”, and featuring a leather Prairie Rose – which I felt had a very rustic Old West ‘Frontier’ feel to it. This conjured up the theme of 20th Century American with it’s left-over colonialism, frontier towns and change brought about by Civil War.

Image 3. The album was to be preceded by an 12” EP called “Rifles of the 1900s” for which I illustrated a technical style drawing of an Springfield rifle using an array of original source imagery. For the poster campaign for this release i added the scorch-marks and burn holes (produced by setting fire to a piece of A4!) to convey the idea of a “Wanted” poster.

Image 2. Album cover for “Rain by High Lantern” – My first step was to ask the recording artist to write out the track-listing and credits for the album onto a piece of white A4 paper, which I cut up into relevant sections, dipped them in tea, baked in an oven and burned and tore around the edges before being nailed to my back garden fence which was covered in ivy creepers, algae and weather damaged, alongside the previously mentioned leather craft album title and prairie rose. Photographs of these pieces (FIG.4.) were then scanned and tweaked so they looked like silver chloride Calotypes. The thin strip of flowered fabric you can see in the enlargement which forms part of the image seen underneath the clear plastic CD case is actually a scan of an original piece of Civil War fabric from the ‘Washington Street’ collection.

Image 1. A follow-up album of out-takes called “The Writer’s Line Benefit” – The basic concept behind this cover design was that it should resemble the diary of a American Civil War soldier. For this particular release all I was given by the recording artist was the album name, which by his own admission is meaningless, so playing on the idea of ‘Writer’s Line’ I came up with the idea of making this a simple gate-fold CD cover that looked like a book or diary.