“True Detective” by T Bone Burnett/Various Artists

True Detective may be my TV surprise of the year so far. This HBO series is superb in every way! Be it the original characters (Nic Pizzolatto) and their portrayal (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson), or the brilliant direction (Cary Fukunaga) and stunning cinematography (Adam Arkapaw). Everyone involved with this series performs at the top of the game and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

But the game-changer for me has been T Bone Burnett’s meticulous selection of songs, that are featured so prominently within each episode. He assembled a collection of songs that is utterly fantastic. Unfortunately there hasn’t been an official soundtrack album yet, neither score (which is great too!) nor songs, so I had to gather them up one by one. But there’s been a non-official tracklist floating around the web, which I used as reference. And that’s also the basis for my custom cover series this time. I imagine this as a real 3-Disc release and based everything on that premise.

The first cover (#1) is basically the show’s teaser poster, but with altered text. I was lucky enough to find the original font type (ITC Conduit), so I could switch the tagline with my album credits fairly easy.

The next two entries were part of a poster series released early this year by everybody’s darling Mondo. Once again the art publisher called for the A-list of designers and Phantom City Creative (#2) and Jay Shaw (#3) answered in an incomparable fashion. Both posters sold out within 20 minutes!

They’re both great works of art that capture the mood of the series perfectly. I do prefer the first one though, which feature the two leading men caught in a devil’s net (a significant plot device). This poster was also the reason, why I wanted to do some covers for this show in the first place.

There has been only one official music release from True Detective so far, the season closer “The Angry River” (#4), written and performed by The Hat, a collective around Father John Misty, S.I. Istwa and Burnett himself. I finished a custom artwork for the soundtrack based on the same template as the single, but once I saw this official release, I scrapped my cover entirely.

The Digital Booklet was the most fun project within this series. I was reading about the show’s brilliant opening sequence and tried to find out a way to incorporate it into one of my custom covers. It didn’t work, but turning it into a digital booklet was the perfect opportunity. It was a mixture of storyboard material, wallpapers and original screencaps of the show that formed the base. I used a mixture of original and customized font types for the specific song details (Interstate Light Condensed), quotes (Jellyka Gare de Chambord) and additional text (Arno Pro). All in all this was a blast to create and, coming in with 54 pages, also one of my largest booklets to date.


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