Friday, 30 October 2009

Sub focus - Drum and bass

Very nice design from subfocus here. The image is centred around the circle that is reminicent of a speaker cone, but also has colours playing around it. The sub focus logo is clean and clear and the whole cover draws you in with the simplicity. It also reminds of an iris, so captures the Sub and the focus in the name in a way.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

RAM records - Drum and Bass

RAM records are one of the biggest labels in drum and bass. They put on RAM record only tours as well as having some of the biggest names in drum and bass signed to them. Drum and bass has a lot of simularities to dubstep and dubstep promotion. It is music that also often relies on a bassline to carry the music, and several drum and bass producers make music for both drum and bass and dubstep. Drum and bass has been around for longer and has its own often over the top design for its promotion.
The ram record labels is again simple using only one colour but can be used across any range of things or modified into a design. The abstract curves of the design relate to a rams skull and all the imagery that conjures. The type used is all in capitals and is a strong sans-serif font, it feels uncomprimising. Drum and bass is a often macho genre, with a lot of big-talk and often the design reflects that.

House/electro design

When Love takes over vinyl cover. This is a good example of the direction a lot of electro/house covers are taking. Playing with type, bright colours and typography. Geometric shapes are often used. David Guetta has his own logo using the thin lined minimal font, this is often used in this genre. Its bright yet smart, reflecting the music. The look is a bit overdone now and has been used for a few years since the "nu rave" scene first developed.

Positiva - House Label

Positiva is a house label that releases some of the biggest house tracks in the uk today.
Their logo design is simple but effective. A + sign with positiva in the middle. Its easily recognisable, and works well on the circular media its often added on such as the middle of vinyl, CDs and the like. Its clear and works with just the one colour. It can also be played with such as the other image above for a more dramatic look. Positive is often what the music is, uplifting, and is relflected in the name/logo. A sans-serif font is used thats bold and easy to read.

Monday, 26 October 2009

stereotype logo and release

Strong branding from stereotype. The logo is distinctive and includes a element (the S) thats recognizable on its own. A lot of record labels have very distinctive logos that can then be applied to various media. The audience often buys merch such as stickers, t-shirts and the like so something that works and is considered cool to the key demographic (18-25 clubbers) is a success. With this release cover the logo is enlarge and abstracted slightly with vibrant colour and strong rounded lines that break it up giving it a bold distinctive feel. The colour use reflects the vibrancy of the music, and the design works perfectly for the format.

10 tons heavy compilation

10 tons heavy is a dubstep compilation. Dubstep is often designs as pushing heavy, as the music itself is very bass heavy. The name comes from this. The font used is heavy set bold and reflects that feeling. Its also rounded and playful that lends a less intimidating feel to the cover than if it was squared or displayed in a different way. The background image is of heavy moving vehicles against a cloudy sky. The whole image is dark and moody. This dark and moody feel is often what dubstep art aims for. The vehicles are another reference to the "heavy" of the title. The imagery is slightly obscured and gives it a slightly abstract feel.

hyperdub logo

Hyperdub logo is a logo that really works. Its futuristic yet simple, it has an experimental vibe that really links with the record labels releases in dubstep, which are dark and experimental and boundry pushing. They keep the graphics consistant so there is a brand identity across the whole range that ties it all together and says "hyperdub". There are elements of japanese design, which has always been seen as a nation with future tech. The logo is only one colour and would work in any situation you would be likely to put it in.

Higrade002 projectiles

Many small labels only print on the vinyl itself and dont have a proper cover for the vinyl. This is something i may have to think about when designing and have a vinyl centre that works on its own terms. This design for higrade002 is basic but works well when the vinyl is playing as the "blade" spins around. Considering how the record is going to be used is something i need to consider in my design. The blade is also the record company logo and promotes the label clearly on the shelf.

5 years of hyperdub

This is the album art for the 5 years of hyperdub album. It reflects the experimental nature of the music on the album and the record label. The glitchy art style looks simple at first glance but is reasonably intricate. It has a strange style of marking 5 on the cover, futuristic - hyperdub are experimental and always looking to the future. It also fits in well with the rest of the hyperdub art. I feel they could of done more with the tracklisting as it is basic, but readability is an issue especially for working DJs and this is something i need to think about when designing vinyl and CD cover art.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Digital Soundboy Recordings

Another record label, the site and logo are average, has the digital style font you would expect but the way the letters link together looks a little second rate.

Horrible design on the subsoldiers website, tiled subsoldier text with no consideration for colour of the look of the overall site.
The logo itself is crisply designed as vector art. It gets over the feel of the label, but the type choice is lazy and theres little thats edgy about the design.

D-Style Recordings

D Style is the brainchild of d&b stalwarts Jon Midwinter and Alistair Vickery aka D*Minds.
Originally set up in 2002 as a vehicle for releasing their own tracks, the label has recently started flexing it's A&R muscles and has branched out into signing artists. The first signing TC, under the guidance of the label, has become one of the biggest artists in dance music. In addition to TC, the D Style Group has signed Jakes, The Force and Eddie K to the label, set up it's own publishing company and promotes Run which is one of the most successful drum&bass nights in the UK.

A slick website from D-Style, it fits within the 800x600 resolution so should work on any computer. Its partially in flash it has strong branding throughout with the use of the d-style logo, but it could be considered a bit generic from a design point of view. Its nothing fresh or cutting edge. The incorporated music player is a nice touch, and online store, Djs bios and info feed are all elements that i need to include in my website design.

Hench Records

Hench Records -

A Dubstep label started in 2007 in bristol by the artist Jakes. Their logo is in a gangster-like old english font with some stylistic flair detailing. The crown is traditional to hip-hop and graffiti to show the "king" or head of an area, scene or idea. The design is nothing original but would appeal to the perceived fan-base of dubstep music. It often trades in macho and dark imagery. HENCH stands for Hard Earned Never Caught Hustling. This again trades in on the gangster image they want to portray. The type has a slightly grungy, worn look. Hench is also slang for big, and this label goes out to come across as big, cool and aggressive.

Tempa Release 038- Headhunter Vinyl cover

Tempa038 release - headhunter.

Simplistic graphics but bold. A cutout shows the colour of the vinyl underneath. Coloured vinyls are normally only for a limited run of the first pressing and is something that would get a buyer interested. This is part of a set of 3 releases, each one has a different colour, purple, orange and pink. The headhunter written on the sleeve has been partially cut off. A reference to the headhunter of the name. A clean design with a small joke. Headhunter is reasonably famous to dubstep DJ's and the market is specialized to DJ's who would know his name anyway. By doing this the buyer may feel "in the know" to his name. Expecting some prior knowledge could highlight the exclusivity of the record.

Tempa Record Label

Tempa (2000-present) is a dubstep and garage record label run by Ammunition Promotions, out of the Truman Brewery, East London. Tempa are considered to be one of the founding labels of the dubstep sound, and are part of a larger umbrella of labels (including Soulja, Road, Vehicle, Shelflife, Texture, Lifestyle and Bingo) and club events (such as Forward>> held at Plastic People in Shoreditch) run by Ammunition.

The logo is helvetica extra bold italicised with the kerning tightened. The italics give it a sense of moving forward and helvetica is recognisable as a commonly used for clean graphics and signs. Its been modified enough that It isn't recognizable as the standard font. It would work on different colours and backgrounds and its easily readable. The label has been around since the beginning of dubstep, and it has a sensible timeless feel that reflects the label.