The infamous Dead Prez required a certain look for their highly anticipated third album ‘Information Age’ which was a bold sonic shift for the provocative hip-hop duo.
The artwork had to embody everything that group stand for yet also convey the new message of evolution, change, positivity as well as attempt to break genre limitations and reach out into new areas with creativity.
After numerous late-night skype conversations discussing ideas and reference points, I went away and began sketching up rough ideas to combine all these elements to form one mural or composition.
I began experimenting with many different styles and must have done upwards of 50 different variations. Exploring everything from abstract, illustrations to full on photo realistic. With regular communication and feedback, we iterated on the design until we it felt complete.
The cover embodies lots of layered messages to form one mural, with the message of calmness and enlightenment at the centre - symbolised by the Buddha and Lotus flower. This is contrasted by a chaotic background made up of many elements representing topics in today's society; politics, poverty, social movements and many others.
Once this design and artwork was solidified, that style and theme was then taken to produce the inlay booklet and back of the CD.
The final CD artwork was a success, so much so that conversations with the artists and label developed to how we could strategise on the promotional / marketing campaign. From there we continued to produce more material for the launch.
Far from being just a "digital" project, this endeavour involved much more strategy, print and art direction. Starting small and chasing opportunity wherever the potential presented itself. Working with like-minded people who were open to approach
Being recognised by the artists and asked to contribute to their existing legacies is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will forever be solidified within a genre I was already a fan of before-hand.
Knowing that I was trusted with the responsibility of representing the duo and their message in art form, seeing that artwork up on iTunes and Wikipedia, just adds to the project being one of my career highlights.