Grand Designs – Graphic designers showcase – Rock Sound – pt2

This is the 2nd part of my latest post about the graphic designers in the music industry, if there is one thing that i have learned from reading these articles it is that you have to have a real passion for art and the history of art and culture to generate some of greatest ideas and designs.

Again i cant take any credit for these interviews and i strongly suggest you take a look at Rock Sound Magazine who interviewed these designers, and interview a new designer each month in the magazine.

Feel free to download the PDF files of the interviews that ive scanned in and im sure you will find it interesting and Knowledgeable as an insight in to what motivates these designers.

Download all PDF Interviews:

Grand Designs – Set 2 [Size 6.8mb]

Brian Ewing

Worked for bands such as Warped Tour, Taste of Chaos, Brand New, The Bouncing Souls, Converge, Elliot Smith, Fall Out Boy, Lifetime, Motion City Soundtrack, My Chemical Romance, Neurosis, Yeah Yeah Yeah and more.

Design wizard Brian Ewing takes a break from caffeine binge to tell Rock Sound about povery, porn and thinking like a 15 year ol boy.

Article Information

  • Web: brianewing.com
  • Interviewer: Rachel Kellehar
  • Rock Sound Issue: 106
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-106 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. How did you get into design and illustration?
  2. Do you think a formal art education is necessary to become a designer?
  3. Are you self-employed?
  4. You seem obsessed with images of death, and fictional characters such as zombies and angels. What attracts you to those images?
  5. How did you get involved with the warped tour as their principle designer?
  6. How much artistic freedom are you granted?
  7. Have you ever gone on tour with the warped bands?
  8. Is there much interaction between you and the bands you design for?
  9. What programmes and tools do you work with?
  10. Whats the weirdest dseign brief youve ever been given?

Adam Wentworth

Worked for bands such as The Red Chord, Bloodhorse, Forced, In Theory, Lamb of God, Quips, Coheed and Cambria, Underoath, My Chemical Romance and more

Rock Sound meets freelance designer and bloodhorse guitarist Adam Wentworth to discuss how music and design are inherently intertwined.

Adam Wentworth

Article Information

Interview Questions

  1. What first Drew you towards art and design as a career?
  2. Do you think the internet has had an effect on the role of the record sleeve?
  3. Do you do all the artwork for your current band bloodhorse?
  4. When youre designing for other bands does the level of interaction between the band and yourself vary? for example, with the 12-inch picture disc you did for lamb of God?
  5. Is it quite different designing merchandise for bands?
  6. Iconography of a record sleeve?
  7. Do you have to stick to a bands prescribed style when designing merchandise?
  8. Describe your working process; are there any designers or artists you would say have influenced you?
  9. Whats your favourite piece of design?
  10. What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators and designers?

Jacob Bannon

Worked for bands such as Converge, Trap Them, Blacklisted, The Hope Conspiracy, As I Lay Dying, Modern Life Is War, Cave In, Curesed and more.

When hes not working on music Jocob Bannon is locked away working on his art. Rock Sound thought it was time to find out how the highly respected man of all crafts fits everything in.

Jacob Bannon

Article Information

  • Web: jacobbannon.com
  • Interviewer: Joe Watson
  • Rock Sound Issue: 111
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-111 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. jacobbannon.com recently went online, was it a positive experience sifting through all of your old work and seeing how youve progressed as an artist or was it a web designers nightmare due to the volume of material?
  2. On the same subject, is there an early piece of work that you wish you could do again?
  3. With every converge release your accompanying artwork is almost as anticipated as the music; youve used work by derek hess and florian bertmer in the past, but not recently. Could you see anyone else taking on the duties in the future and whom would you feel safe handing it down to?
  4. You appear to have a great love and understanding of art history, which is important. Do you think that the current wave of designers are neglecting the past masters in favour of a copy of photoshop and set of splatter brushes?
  5. Do you ever regret sacrificing all of your time with design work, converge and deathwish inc, which is essentially for the benefit of other people, or is a regimented nine-to-five life style out of the queston for you?
  6. Its safe to say that youre a big inspiration for alot of artists. Do you feel flattered or angered when you see a piece of work that is obviously copying your your work or style?
  7. The cover of ‘Jane Doe’ has to be one of the most talked about hardcore covers of this decade and it has spawned hundreds of tatoos on fans. How does it make you feel to see something that youve created on someones body?
  8. You primarilly design for the heavy music community. Is it because that was the music that inspired you when you were first starting out, or is it because no other music genre inspires you to create the kind of visuals you are renowned for?

Dave House

Worked for bands such as Les Savy Fav, Enon, Paul Frank and more.

Rock Sound meets Les Savy Favs enigmatic frontman Tim Harrington to discuss art, illustration and the perils of being a ‘design whore’.

Dave House

Article Information

Interview Questions

  1. Did you design all the record sleeves for Les Savy Fav?
  2. Youve also designed for Enon as well. Did you do all of their sleeves?
  3. What are your favourite record sleeve designs?
  4. The ‘Inches’ Sleeve has a pretty interesting history, right?
  5. Your style is pretty diverse. Whats your favourite style or medium to work with?
  6. Regarding deadly squire, what is it about organic patterns that fascinate you?
  7. What advice do you have for young designers?

Stephen O’Malley

Worked for bands such as Earth, Sunn, Zyklon, Probot, Glorior Belli, Emperor, Ascend, Khanate, Boris, Southern Lord, Misanthropy Records and more

Steadfastly opposed to quick-fix design and photoshop botch jobs, legendary artist, Stephen O’Malley tells Rock Sound just how important a of expertise can be.

Stephen O'Malley

Article Information

  • Web: ideologic.org
  • Interviewer: Darren Taylor
  • Rock Sound Issue: 109
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-109 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. What inspires you in your design work?
  2. How much interaction is there between yourself and the band youre creating artwork for?
  3. Have you ever done a piece of art for a band and theyve not liked it?
  4. I think alot of bands blow all their money on recording and forget about the artwork, which, in my opinion, is just as important for a record. Would you agree?
  5. Wahts the key to good typography then?
  6. So what advice would you give to aspiring young designers?
  7. What are you working on at the moment?

Storm Thorgerson

Worked for bands such as Biffy Clyro, Muse, The Cranberries, Audio Slave, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Mars Volta and more

Rock Sound meets the Godfather of record sleeve design, to discuss his seemingly inate ability to produce timelessly iconic imagery.

Storm Thorgerson

Article Information

Interview Questions

  1. How did you get into designing record sleeves?
  2. What do you think is the most important element to focus on when desiging for a band?
  3. What is your preferred media?
  4. How do you feel the internet has impacted upon the role of the record sleeve in modern day society?
  5. Will downloading spell the end the need for covers?
  6. Do you have a favourite sleeve among your own designs?
  7. What is the most surreal thing that youve ever done or created for a photoshoot?
  8. Your images are much admired for their pervasive sense of emotional and narrative depth. Is this your main goal?
  9. Do you have any advice for designers who wish to get in to design for the music industry?
  10. Do you do it for the love of it?

Download all PDF Interviews:

Grand Designs – Set 2 [Size 6.8mb]

I hope these posts have provided you with some good reading material that you may have not seen before due to not knowing about or reading Rock Sound magazine.



Grand Designs – Graphic designers showcase – Rock Sound – pt1

What makes designers tick, where do they get their inspiration as well as tips on how to break in to the music apparel design scene.

After reading Gomedias articles about the music apparel industry, in there last post they listed 10 designers within this design industry, seeing there inspiring works i decided to do some more digging of my own to find more artists like these.

The music industry produces some of the best designs from stickers to CD covers and posters, so i found right under my nose in Rock Sound Magazine some interviews with some of these designers that produce some great work in my opinion, each having a unique style and influence.

Below I have scanned in 6 of the interviews with these designers from the magazine, i cannot take any credit for any of these works or interviews, but thought it may help those people looking for some interesting reading on what makes these designers tick and a source where these designers can be found, in every issue of rock sound magazine they interview a different designer each month so be sure to check them out.

Download all PDF Interviews:

Grand Designs – Set 1 [Size 7.5mb]

Pat Graham & Melanie Standage

Worked for bands such as Modest Mouse, Tortoise, The Make-Up, Against Me! and more

Pat Graham and Melanie Standage are responsible for a host of iconic artwork intrinsic to music, both as individuals and as a team.

Pat Graham & Melanie Standage

Article Information

  • Web: 96gillespie.com
  • Interviewer: Rachel Kellehar
  • Rock Sound Issue: 95
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-95 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. How are the design world and the music world connected?
  2. What are the most important aspects when you are designing for a band
  3. Are there any artists that you admire in terms of designing album artwork?
  4. Can you tell us about some specific pieces or artwork that you’ve worked on together?
  5. Do you think the digital age has changed the nature of photography and dseign?
  6. Youre working on an against Me! photography based sleeve at the moment can you tell us a bit about that?
  7. What advice would you give to young designers who want to get into music related design?

Dave House

Worked for bands such as Dartz!, The Steal, Satori, Hundred Reasons, Cadillac Blindside, Capdown, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and more

Singer / songwriter, punk rocker artist and designer, Rock sound meets Dave House to discuss music, art and the role of DIY ethos in the world of design.

Dave House

Article Information

Interview Questions

  1. Have you studied design or are you self-taught?
  2. What elements do you believe are necessary for a striking design?
  3. What triggers you creatively?
  4. Tell us about one of your favourite pieces you’ve done
  5. What’s the money like working within the arts / music industry?
  6. Do you think that being part of DIY underground scene has had an effect on the way that you work as a designer?
  7. What are you working on at present design-wise?

Aaron Turner

Worked for bands such as Botch, Aerogramme, Cave In, Isis, Jesu, Knut, Pelican, Converge, Zozobra, Big Business, Lotus Eaters, Oxbow and more

When he’s not busy blessing our ears with some of the finest noise you can hear via his label Hydra Head and band Isis, Aaron Turner is also a dab-hand designer.

Aaron Turner

Article Information

  • Web: isistheband.com
  • Interviewer: Darren Taylor
  • Rock Sound Issue: 97
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-97 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. How do you come up with the concepts for your designs?
  2. If you could collaborate with any other artists who would you choos and why?
  3. What’s your favourite piece of artwork you’ve done and why?
  4. How much time is spent on creating artwork for your releases?
  5. How much involvement do the bands have in the process?
  6. Ever thought about doing art full-time and abandoning the musical side of your career?
  7. What advice would you offer budding designers looking to follow in your footsteps?
  8. How do you feel about music downloading, is it killing the designer?
  9. Who are your design heroes?
  10. What designs are you working on at present?
  11. When’s that coming out then?

Shepard Fairey

Worked for bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Interpol, DJ Shadow, Flogging Molly, Black Eyed Peas, Mission of Burma, Queens of the Stone Age, The Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, The Cult, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Unsane and more

Shepard Fairey has a posse and you’d better believe it, Rock Sound joins his crew to discover what happens when art, music and politics collide.

Shepard Fairey

Article Information

  • Web: obeygiant.com
  • Interviewer: Rachel Kellehar
  • Rock Sound Issue: 99
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-99 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. Has music played a role in your development as a designer?
  2. How did you get involved with the new smashing pumpkins record?
  3. What’s been the project that’s excited you the most?
  4. What artsist have influenced you in terms of your design development?
  5. Rumour has it you’re doing a big exhibition here in the UK later this year?
  6. Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?

Vince Ray

Worked for bands such as Stray cats / Brain Setzer, The Damned, Demented Are Go, The Meteors, The Yo-Yos, The Reverend Horton Heat and more

Rock Sound delves into the fantastically filthy design mind of rockabilly stalwart Vince Ray.

Vince Ray

Article Information

Interview Questions

  1. Which demon is most powerful in you, the artist or the musician
  2. Do you think rampant technology helps or hinders an artist?
  3. What kick-started the style you are most known for?
  4. What did you learn from your years in art college?
  5. At what point did you decide to make artwork your career?
  6. What role does a designer play in rock n roll?
  7. So how does a Vince Ray masterpiece come into being?
  8. Was your initial intention to focus on the music industry for your work?
  9. Whats’ next for you as an artist and a musician?

Seldon Hunt

Worked for bands such as Isis, KK Null, Pelican, Neurosis, Stephen O’ Malley, Architects, Bossak, Melvins, Peeping Tom and more.

Rock Sound meets the widely admired, much mimicked Seldon Hunt to discuss his rise to design prominence.

Seldon Hunt

Article Information

  • Web: seldonhunt.com
  • Interviewer: Darren Taylor
  • Rock Sound Issue: 101
  • Download PDF Interview: issue-101 [Right Click – Save As]

Interview Questions

  1. How did you first get involved in designing record covers?
  2. What happened after that?
  3. How would you describe your particular style?
  4. How do you feel about the new breed of designers mimicking your particular style?
  5. Some of your more recent work ventures into the realms of photography, why?
  6. Have any bands not been in to the artwork you’ve created for them?
  7. Now that you’re an established name in design, how does that affect the way you waork?

Download all PDF Interviews:

Grand Designs – Set 1 [Size 7.5mb]