After Tapete Records and I had decided we wanted to make the rarities collection which eventually became Cleaning out the ashtrays we had to agree on a format. The square box containing individual Cds in card sleeves and a booklet seemed ideal and not TOO expensive to manufacture. Tapete were as keen as I was to make something that people would want to treasure and not feel bad about shelling out $50 on…

Thanks to recent work on the image area at my site I was aware of various photos which had not been used for album or single sleeves, which we might be able to use. Strangely we agreed straight away on the choices and Hosuk sent me the following mock-up which must be the closest to the end product of any that he's made. I thought it was so good I just said 'Fine, I'll leave it with you and Tapete.'

Here it is –

It actually took an awfully long time to get from this to the finished article, and mainly thanks to the box cover image not sitting well with superimposed text –

One of my tries –

A couple of Hosuk's –

We were very close to going with nothing at all on the front of the box and just having a sticker above the shrinkwrap until Hosuk came up with the final idea. Hosuk wanted the booklet to be based around the image of an old box, or boxes that I kept the orphaned CDs, DATs and Cassettes in. Luckily one the actual boxes proved to be quite photogenic and in my role as photographer (as the boxes were in my attic/office and Hosuk was in Brussels) I got lucky with try #1. The only sunlight in our attic library, next to my office comes through a single window which is more or less North facing so it isn't the brightest of rooms. I waited until there was some light and shadow below the window and placed the box there – set up my tiny tripod for my tiny outdated camera and we got this –

Hosuk immediately said that this should be the cover of the booklet – I had thought we'd use the same image as the front of the box, so I resisted for some time, I thought it would be a good final image, until H instructed me to take more and more photos, using the light from the same window of various boxes and individual items from the boxes. Then we had our concept, and it was then that I accepted this as the front image for the booklet and shortly thereafter Hosuk asked me to take some close up shots of the box – he wanted to use the pattern as a graphic element for the box we were designing – this is what I emailed him –

He then set to work with some Scotch Tape and created the brown texture that works with this – he's reasoning, I think, was to make a box taped up roughly like some of my actual, less photogenic boxes. The end result was something quite different, difficult to identify, if one is unaware of it's origin, and it is quite beautiful, I think. Enclosing the cover image within the graphic design allowed Hosuk to place the desired title text on the front of the box, so we didn't need a sticker.