Back in one of my old blog posts about our business cards you probably would have seen the extent of my graphic design skills (something akin to a monkey masturbating over a keyboard). Here’s a graphic reminder…
But we needed some artwork for the EP and in keeping with the DIY aesthetic that we’ve embraced so far with this band I decided to give it another go.
Photos were going to be the easiest way to do it rather than trying to create graphics from scratch and I had an idea for a shoot where we were spitting out water (or smooth liquid lyrics if you wanted to get really conceptual). I think the key to most creative things (especially for novices) is to try and keep it pretty simple. So I decided to keep the colour palette quite minimal- black, white and a bit of red to make things stand out.
I dusted off this old Olympus waterproof/shockproof/idiot proof camera that I bought before our snorkelling trip to Thailand that I hadn’t really used for the last 3 years. Turns out its actually a great little camera (coming from someone who doesn’t really know too much about photography) and it managed to capture the moment beautifully. We had to time the shots quite well (“OK, 3, 2, 1 SPIT!”) and things got a little messy (probably won’t be the last time I get spat on by my fiancé) but I think they turned out great. The water droplets add a bit of interest and bring a theme to all the EP artwork.
Once we had the shots, I loaded them into a fantastic FREE graphic design program called canva
which you can find here…canva.com. It’s an online thing where you can upload your photos, add text/graphics, apply filters etc. and then export when you’re done. It’s super simple to use and did I mention it was free? The plan was to alternate covers for the EP, one with me and one with Olivia. Here’s what we came up with…
I was pretty damn happy with the results. The font is called CODYSTAR and its something that I’ve been looking for for a very long time. I always had an idea of our name being spelt out in light bulbs, like they have around mirrors in stars’ dressing rooms and this is as close as I’ve found.
The problem was that I wanted to keep the water droplet theme going and I didn’t get any on the shot with Reece’s hand. I’ve had a go at photo editing software before (back in the early days of photoshop when a friend was doing some band artwork as a project for her fine arts degree) and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. But I figured things must have improved a fair bit in the last 5 years. Turns out I was right.
I downloaded a free trial of this photoshop-like program for Mac a couple of years back when I was trying to do a design for one of my tattoos. It’s called Pixelmator (www.pixelmator.com) and I didn’t really get to know how to use it too much back then but decided to download the full version (its only $29, so what the hell).
I FUCKING LOVE THIS PROGRAM!!!
It’s so easy to play with and if an idiot like me can manage to use it without going through any manuals it must be good. I cloned some the water drops from one of Olivia’s photos and pasted them over the top of Reece’s hand (this was the one we’re using to print on the actual CD). I also managed to clean up Reece’s skin tone because the filter I’d used when making the photo black and white made it look like he’d been down in the coal mines for the last couple of weeks without washing his hands. This was a real eye opener for me- you just hit this tool that looks like a little bandaid called “repair”, rub it over the nasty bits and it makes it look like you’ve got perfect skin. So a word of warning for anyone on social media, never trust a profile picture ever again…
Here’s the end result…
Turns out there’s a version for iPad as well (with a few less features) and you can swap projects around between the two. I really love the painting modes on the iPad version and I quickly became addicted to doodling. I love messing around with the watercolour brushes and created a black background which I wanted to put some Hollywood Sound text over the top of. I had an idea of filling the text with a textured picture (gold foil) and after watching a couple of videos over and over again I managed to do it quite easily (in the end). A bit of “light leak” filter over the top and voila! One new logo/avatar.
I wanted to put another element in here though so people would know it was us so I managed to paste some photos in from the water spit shoot. The program makes it quite easy to blend images in. I like it, sort of makes us look like ghosts and I was pretty happy with the final product.
So the result of all this is that the website has been pimped recently. Hope people like it as much as we do. Al