The Whales LP was a delightfully time-consuiming project. It all starts with the pencil and paper and ideas. Whales trusted that I would come up with something that represented their trance-enducing, thoughtful rock 'n' roll music. The thumbnails explore typography, themes and textures, all based on my visual interpretation of their music. I have to admit, I am a super-fan. Check out the 3-page PDF.
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Oddly enough, we needed the label artwork for the vinyl LPs immediately. It just happens sometimes. So I created the labels before the cover design was decided upon. This was difficult because I had to visualize the direction I was already going with my sketches, but decide immediately what to use for the labels. So I researched old record labels from the early 20th century and worked with fonts from that era, or similar too, and came up with something simple that I felt would go with anything I would come up with for the cover. Also, our whole project needed to be two color, for the sake of cost.
We needed an online teaser cover, to start selling the record to recoup some costs and get the music to the people. It worked for the super-fans that were chomping at the bit to obtain the recordings.
Whales LP cover design concept sketch number #1. Adobe Illustrator. Whales liked this design immediately and said it was perfect for their band. I couldn't have been more thrilled because I thought it communicated the message properly.
Whales LP cover design concept sketch number #2. Adobe Illustrator.
Whales LP cover design concept sketch number #3. Adobe Illustrator.
Since they decided on the cover concept #1, we had to generate some download code cards to put in the record jackets. I decided to use some of the design I had already come up with, along with a modified version of the cover to produce a double-sided card. The design was used as a template, then codes were place and printed.
These are black and white conversions that NEEDED to be made in order to make transparencies for burning screens for printing these by hand. Screenprinting was our preferred method for this record for aesthetic and cost reasons. 2-page PDF.
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This was the final design, after being printed. It was scanned, doctored a little so it looked as close to the package as possible for selling online.
Process photo #1. Sorry for the mess, it was a tough week.
Process photo #2. I like how moody they look here. Whales is a moody band.
Process photo #3. And finally, the finished cover, a unique version with multiple ink passes to add some cool density.

WHALES LP Project.
Published by MIN, September, 2013.
First vinyl LP from the tremendous Chiago, IL
band WHALES. Available for sale through the external link.
Each cover is hand printed and unique on chipboard jackets. Comes with digital download code.

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Chafe Hensley
Independent Designer and Graphics Specialist at Kalamazoo Public Library Kalamazoo, MI