Bringing out a so-called Complete Collection midway through a TV series that apparently has many more seasons to come is always a divisive and for fans often times frustrating affair. Especially if it comes with previously unreleased tracks thrown in between the original content.
On the other hand, it’s Christmas time and some company’s net profit need to be increased. What better way to be in the black than to release something old repackaged in something new.
This time the new comes in a handy collector’s box that houses all score albums released up to that time in slim digipacks (plus some future ones as well). I think I’ll skip the technical gibberish this time and share this set’s background story instead – interspersed with some neat little pictures.
Unfortunately due to the unavailability of at least three of these soundtrack albums up to this point this remarkable disc box will be for preordering only. The record label was kind enough though to provide us with temporarily tracklists. But beware, they may contain future plotpoints! ;-)
Everything started with a truly beautiful tribute art created by Marko Manev, one of my favourite artists. It was the smaller, square cut-outs below, that got me motivated in the first place. I pictured them to be cover artworks for the individual soundtracks, all housed in a tin box or something similar that features the whole image in all its glory. I was already well on the way, but ultimately didn’t get permission to use Marko’s artwork.
So I reconsidered the whole project and decided to view it as an original release from my own fictional label. I made up a story about a Limited Edition and how I had to sell a specific number of box sets to pay itself off. With that in mind, I once again started from scratch.
The first question was, how to design the actual custom covers (#2 to #9) to cohere as a whole, but also stand for themselves as individual releases?
I went with a set of wallpapers that feature the “main houses” of Westeros, the Starks, the Lannisters, the Targaryens and the Baratheons. Complementing those are four additional houses, as they were the Tyrells, the Martells, the Greyjoys and the Arryns.
It seemed to be the natural choice. You don’t need to sell a collector’s item like this to anyone anymore. You don’t need recognizable faces or otherwise marketable material on it, it’s all fan service anyway. It’s more important to reach a customer base who very likely already owns these soundtracks in some form or another. And first and foremost you reach them by grandeur and exclusivity.
Exclusivity was easy, just limit that damn thing to a few hundreds… you’re set. Even better: Go the Mondo way and limit it to local sales only, and you can bet your ass that thing’s selling like hot cakes.
But for pomp and circumstance I needed something else. The ordinary front cover wouldn’t be good enough. I needed some high quality images. Three-dimensional images. What I needed was a product. A real physical object one can take in his hands and in exchange leave some cash on the counter. And the Photoshop mock-up you see throughout this post is the most physical, one can get on a website like this.
While I was working on these mock-ups I encountered a new obstacle – for the first time. The template was 4500 pixels wide and as I was filling it with my prepared designs, the file size grew to a few hundred megabytes, and Photoshop’s memory usage was over three gigabytes. My computer was literally unusable. Opening the file took about five minutes and after every change within the document the whole smart object linkage had to be updated, which also took a fair amount of time. It was a really nerve-jangling experience, but these are the things we do
for money for the customer. In the end I was rewarded with ultra high quality mock-ups of my latest non-existent release.
The final piece of the puzzle was the Collector’s Box itself (#1). I again was testing out a few different designs before I adopted the final direction, which is a mixture of various elements (logo, background, custom texts) and techniques (colour correction, drop shadows, outer glow, bevel and emboss).
So there you have it. Old stuff marketed as new stuff. Rip-off beyond question, but undeniably at its most beautiful.