There are only a handful of new soundtracks each year that I want to support with custom album art. I normally pick my choices solely based on the respective directors or composers involved (this year that would be Gone Girl, Interstellar and The Hobbit). It happens very rarely that I encounter a new movie poster and immediately feel the urge to turn it into a custom cover. But it did happen in March with the SXSW poster to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla. I quite enjoyed his directorial debut Monsters, but the art design for his follow-up project downright blew me away! From the posters campaign to the trailer (and hopefully so to Alexandre Desplat’s orchestral score) this whole project seems to have sparked a sense of creativity unmatched by anything this year so far. I tried to do my best to honor that kind of craftsmanship, so today, in celebration of the score’s release, I’m happy to present my cover series for Godzilla.
I’m dividing this entry into two legs, firstly, a few digital approaches (#1 to #8) and on the other hand a couple of vinyl mockups (#9 to #13).
While the official artwork (#1) stands on its own quite well, there were so many different backgrounds available that I just had to redesign it. I used the original font (Compacta Bd BT) to completely recreate the movie logo and album credits and placed them properly (#2, #3, #4) within the canvas.
The official IMAX poster came in late in the game and was actually the last template I used in this series (#5, #10). Yet I managed to turn it into a couple of different designs (of which I included two in this posting). It’s sometimes funny how little work is necessary with background images like this particular one.
The San Diego Comic-Con posters were the base of my next two entries (#6, #7). At first an early teaser from 2012 with the simplest design of all available posters. But I always liked how the company logo and the movie logo form the catchphrase “Legendary Godzilla”. A really clever and quite unique way to promote the reboot of the franchise. One year later Phantom City Creative blew audiences away with one of the most bad-ass poster designs of the year. Up to that point my customs stayed true to the official designs as far as possible. I was waiting for a chance to leave the common route a bit and this gorgeous poster was just what I needed. The drawn art style begged for a handwritten font type and so, after a few tests, I settled on the font “jey“. While this one was hard to top, Phantom City Creative (again!) did just that during the 2014 South By Southwest festival. They hit the jackpot in my eyes with their new design. I knew turning this one into album art would be a tough nut. But nonetheless there I was, raring to start my work on it. Let me show you the creation process of custom cover #8 in a nutshell:
Of course there were far more additional sub-steps required, but applying textures or adjusting the right blending modes between layers just don’t come across very well in an animated GIF.
This brings us to the second part of this entry, the vinyl gallery. Some of you may already know my affection towards old record covers. It’s always a welcome change from the nowadays common design approaches. And a good opportunity to try out things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
Inspiration came from various directions this time. For once a really clever take on the Japanese flag created by Ignition Creative (#9). This one was an obvious choice for a vinyl sleeve. I even left out the usual record disc marks, but added a crackle texture to the rising sun as if it was crushed by the rampaging Godzilla. In reverse I created a full vinyl mockup sleeve with my next entry, complete with rough edges and heavy use of textures (#10). I tried my best to bring out the aesthetics of those typical Japanese record covers, which are always prime examples in minimalism and composition. Custom cover #11 goes in the same direction, mimicking the style of Byung-woo Lee’s A Tale of Two Sisters soundtrack album.
My last custom is a true original and shifted over time from a simple text-based cover into this semi-realistic vinyl artwork, complete with a digipack slipcase (#12), inner sleeve art (#13) and a pressed 180 Gram Godzilla style record disc (#14).
I had a hard time creating this one, up to the point of scraping it alltogether. But the vinyl mockup got me back on track and now it’s one of my favourites. It turned out so realistic I can almost feel the cardboard surface in my hand. I’d pay quite a bit for a Limited Edition like that (hello Mondo…) and I guess I’m not the only one.
Finally I once again want to underline how awesome this advertising campaign was. Its involved design companies Ignition Creative, Phantom City Creative and Art Machine continuously outdid each other. The level in detail and quality is amazing and – although I’m only a copyartist – really inspires me in my work.