Michelle Clark Graphic Design

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


The Golden Age of Hollywood

The Golden Age mood board

I love creating photomontage mood boards to get me inspired with a theme, and this is one that I put together this weekend as inspiration for an upcoming project. I get to take part in designing a poster for a Spring formal banquet with an old Hollywood theme. The primary colors will be black, red, and gold. This is an event I will probably attend because I love dressing up Golden Age style and it will feature a free dinner and casino-like atmosphere in an old ballroom in SE Portland. I wrote the name down but as of now my precious notebook is MIA. However, I’ll update periodically on the various phases of this project, it’s one that I’m excited about.