If you are a regular here, you will recall that there was much debate and deliberation concerning the presentation of the Folksinger series. Ultimately I decided I wanted a spare, elegant package, like an old Blue Note album, or something on Folkways.
I had decided not to photograph the Whelan's shows, and I'm glad I made this decision, there was enough to worry about there. So Blue Note / Folkways was the reference when I started making sketches based around Doug Seymour's photography. Doug had contacted me in 2006 to see if he could take photos at our World Cafe show in Philadelphia – the photos turned out really well, despite the lighting… in fact the cover of the Bremen CD is from that night. Doug subsequently shot two more shows in Philadelphia at the Tin Angel plus Mexicali Live and John and Peter's last November. For these last shows we were specifically looking for CD sleeve shots.
My first sketches culminated in this idea for a box for both discs – an idea which was subsequently ditched (good thing – these would be a nightmare to ship). I was trying to reference the X album combination of graphics and handwriting.
Here's are the first sketches I sent Hosuk –
I'd ended up with a Blue Note / Folkways / Music IAFL thing. H came back with –
This, we both agreed was too retro.
It really didn't take too much more dialogue to arrive at the finished sleeves. I was initially a little disappointed that H had lost the polygon within a polygon thing I'd started with, but the simplicity of his design was far superior. He continued in his disdain for vertical tracklisting and we extended the Music IAFL parallels with his typesetting. The hyper detailed credits on the inside sleeve originate from the credits that Radio Bremen sent me, which we were contracted to use – they were so detailed – very German in the very best way – that we decided to follow their lead. The Whelan image below shows the production guidelines for the digipack.
We decided to print on matte card like Music IAFL, and that is the only aspect of the design which didn't turn out as I expected. I guess I'd prefer if there was more grain to the card and there was even less sheen. But I'm not complaining, it also occurs to me that they might be near impossible to read if they looked like that…
Finally – and I believe I am now at the end of this six part meg Ask Lloyd – Years ago, when we first started taking about this Folksinger idea and the Radio Bremen album was first discussed Hosuk sent me this –
Maybe if we make a second Bremen record…