Michelle Clark Graphic Design


#2 – Mt. Hood Jazz Band and Combo 2009 CD
May 19, 2009, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Design, Music, Oregon, Packaging, Photos, Typography
CD label, inside booklet front and back, and card tray.

CD label, inside booklet front and back, and card tray.

CD packaging, photo by me

CD packaging, photo by me

Complete CD packaging proposal including inside booklet, CD tray, and label for the Mt. Hood Jazz Band & Combo 2009 album Second Time Around.

My goal for this project was to create a design that carries out a theme relevant to the band’s trip to The World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. My concept focuses on the urban aspect of downtown Kaohsiung, using images of their train system that runs throughout the city, using warm colors to communicate the tone of the music.



Albums of the Week
May 16, 2009, 11:34 pm
Filed under: Inspiration, Lifestyle, Music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Albums of the Week 05/16/09It’s that time again. Wow, what a crazy week. Deadlines have been catching up with me, with deadlines along the way to even larger deadlines. So, that called for lots of work time which translates to a lot of different music. Here’s some of the most popular picks for this week. Some of the albums are for pure nostaliga since I’m fastly approaching a pretty big milestone in my life. Others are there for their raw energy that helps keep me up and going through the long hours. I’ve also been visiting my neighbor more often these days and borrowing his player to listen to some of my vinyl. Oh, and there seems to be  a monster theme this week.  Here we go, top to bottom:

The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.
Dr. Hook – Pleasure and Pain. Awesome album art.
Garbage – Version 2.0.
Heart – Dreamboat Annie
Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy
Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster
Iggy and the Stooges – Raw Power (how appropriate)
Holland – Little Monsters



100 Remarkable CD Covers
May 14, 2009, 6:30 am
Filed under: Art, Design, Inspiration, Music, Packaging | Tags: , , , , ,

Image courtesy of Smashing Magazine

Image courtesy of Smashing Magazine

I was overjoyed to find this post on Smashing Magazine this morning outlining 100 Obscure and Remarkable CD Covers. CD and book cover design are two of my top interests in the Graphic Design field and ultimately what led me to further my education in said field. This post features 100 fabuluous album designs (a few of which have been featured on my Albums of the Week posts) as well as an introduction into the concept of CD design and how the best album art doesn’t simply showcase top notch photography (not to mention photo editing) of band members, but captures the interest of the buyer as well as hold true to the essence and mood of the music. I couldn’t agree more.



Music is Inspiration
May 10, 2009, 10:18 am
Filed under: Articles, Design, Inspiration, Music | Tags: , , , , , ,
Music From the Other Room

Image credit FineLine of Deviant Art

I came across this article from Smashing Magazine this morning and I have to share it with everyone. Called, Drawing Inspiration From Music, this post covers the author’s difficult process transitioning over to being a designer and how hard it was using abstract concepts to come up with design solutions. It then goes into how this can be accomplished by listening to music while you work. This way, you can use music to get into the heads of your audience. There are also some lovely pictures, each with a short excerpt explaining how music can specifically bring design inspiration. I know I have found that listening to music helps me better capture the spirit of my audience or objective behind my design. When designing a Jazz CD, what else should one be listening to while they’re putting together some cover art? Likewise, when designing a zine, its time to pull out the alternative rock and dust off those obscure indie folk tracks. Just knowing, or guessing, what sort of music your audience is listening to can open many doors while designing. I definetly recommend checking out the full article.



Vintage Record Sleeves
May 4, 2009, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Design, Inspiration, Music, Patterns | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image courtesy Jeff Haman

Image courtesy Jeff Hamada

More vinyl design stuff from yours truly. These vintage sleeves feature brightly colored, retro patterns. I loved them as soon as I saw them. I also love the blog that I found them on. It’s called Boooooom (that’s right, exactly 7 Os) featuring the design work of one Jeff Hamada. His header is charming; the art of Betsy Walton. as are the multi-colored links all leading out to quirky, fun artwork, design, and other oddities.



Timeless Vinyl
Sleeve concept - Jello Biafra

Sleeve concept - Jello Biafra. Photo by me.

My neighbor has a huge collection of vinyl and one of my favorite things to do over at his place is to sift through all the great album designs. There’s such a timeless quality to vinyl it ceases to become obsolete – ever wonder why no one collects cassette tapes? Records crack and break very easily, yet some people still snatch them up. I think the album art has a lot to do with this. Vinyl cases, measuring approximately twelve and one quarter inches all the way around, feature large scale artwork on the front and back, and often include an insert with pages and pages of continuous art. I don’t use my dad’s record player anymore since I moved out but I still took all my vinyl with me and display them on my wall like a collection of prints.

The Dead Kennedys’ Plastic Surgery Disasters is one of those instances. I pulled the record out and what came along with it was a book full of collage design. I was mesmerized for a good thirty minutes just flipping through and reading all of the random Dada-esque words, phrases, and photos. Vinyl is what inspired me to look into CD design years ago, which ultimately led me to the pursuit of Graphic Design. I love the concept of creating an image or a theme representative of a group of artists and their vision and carrying that theme throughout an album, using pictures and type as emotional and mental cues as to the message behind their music.

Do you collect vinyl? Is there any particular reason why?

Photos: Mike Wells and Charles Gatewood

DK and Alternative Tentacles logos: Winston Smith



Albums of the Week

Albums of the Week 5-2-09

Back by popular demand, it’s another Albums of the Week post. Let’s see a sample of what I’ve been listening to this week. Top to bottom as is customary:

  • Bjork – Post
  • The Misfits – Legacy of Brutality
  • Southern Culture on the Skids – Mojo Box
  • Tool-Aenima
  • Frank Zappa – Strictly Commercial – The Best of Frank Zappa

Also, just as a side note to anyone who was looking forward to a review of the Antigone play this weekend. I went on Friday night and arrived twenty minutes early but all the doors were locked and not a single soul to be seen in the lobby. I think it may have been cancelled due to the swine flu. I’m sorry, I was looking forward to it too.