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A while back I wrote this post lamenting the demise of the CD package as a graphic design and branding opportunity, and reminisced about my younger days spent attempting to be a rock star. At the time I typed that article, it had been years since I last played in a band, and I assumed that time in my life was long over. It’s funny how things change… a situation came up where I was coerced once again into joining a band. I had more free time to accommodate a weekly practice schedule, and I honestly didn’t realize how much I missed playing live music until I picked it up again. Aside from having some rusty musical chops, things fell into place fairly quickly. Although most of the local Vancouver venues I used to play at are long gone, it has been surprisingly easy to land gigs, and the “new” band has had the opportunity to play some great shows. A side-effect of my rekindled musical side-project has been the chance to do some fun, freewheeling design projects, without constraints or restrictions (aside from zero budget). Although few bands produce CDs nowadays, or even much in the way of physical gig posters anymore, there is still a large amount of material that needs to be considered for a band’s image. “Branding” is one of the few ways that can help you stand out in an oversaturated market, especially when the internet allows anyone to distribute their own tunes and enables everyone to be famous (seriously, the top career choice for 90% of kids under 12 is “YouTube Star”).

I’ve had a lot of fun developing the look of the band; Woodshed Supply Company… mainly for myself and my bandmates (and it’s probably the main reason they keep me around). Capturing the visual essence to represent a sonic entertainment experience is a challenging undertaking. It is a problem that I have always enjoyed tackling, and one of the reasons I love collaborating on design projects with musicians. Going through the visual exercise for something as fluid (and personal) as a garage band has helped me to re-evaluate what a brand can be, and realize that nothing is set in stone. Especially for something as frivolous as an inconsequential musical project… even more so in today’s digital world where everything simultaneously lasts both forever and for only a fleeting moment.

See more of Woodshed Supply Company‘s material Here.

Roxy Jan2017

custom design band Ts

merchandise

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Early in my life as a professional graphic designer I was torn between my love for music and a passion for my chosen career. I had been playing drums in various “garage” bands, with delusions of making a living as a musician. I’ve recorded a few albums and fifteen years ago this summer, after months in the recording studio with a couple of good friends, we released this CD upon the world (not that anyone really cared, except for obscure radio stations in Great Britain). After years of struggling to play live shows and maintain a “real” job, I realized that the music business was gruelling, exhausting, and soul crushing. Not to mention economically unrealistic. Especially in an expensive city like Vancouver. My hat is off to anyone who can really make a go of it in the music business.

However, just because I chose to focus on my graphic design career, doesn’t mean that I left music behind. With all the friends I made of local musicians, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on many projects utilizing my favourite all-time design format; The Compact Disc package.

Vancouver CD Design

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