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Milk Design, Kuala Lumpur

Author: Colin | Published: 30/6/09

Zaid from Milk Design wrote to us with some designs we’d like to feature, they welcome feedback!

Visit www.theudderones.com, byaduoorgroup, 8ears.

sleeve design AI9

sleeve design AI9

byaduoorgroupPACKAGINGFApt2-1

byaduoorgroupPACKAGINGFApt2-1

Newsfeed images

Author: Colin | Published: 30/6/09
Previous Kraftwerk – Autobahn (non-UK version) Next Milk Design, Kuala Lumpur

If you’re subscribed to our RSS newsfeed and have noticed that you’re not getting the images any longer – our sincere apologies. We’ve not changed anything and have got the full text option still enabled in WordPress. If anyone knows of a bug fix for this, let us know!

Kraftwerk – Autobahn (non-UK version)

Author: Colin | Published: 30/6/09
Previous jar moFF collage Next Newsfeed images

kraftwerk-autobahn-1

kraftwerk-autobahn-1

Artist Kraftwerk
Title Autobahn
Label Vertigo
Year 1974
Designer Emil Schult
Music Electronic
Notes Kraftwerk are widely recognised as the most influential group since The Beatles, indeed I’d go one further, but put that down to my being a lifelong fan. Given that their legacy is widely misperceived as being coldly robotic, this cover might be seen as an oddity. However, if you recognise the absolutely essential human half of the man machine equation and unblock your ears to hear their essentially Romantic approach, then this cover design becomes more comprehensible.

Admittedly, it’s still something of a shock to anyone only familiar with the UK road-sign version (as I was until only a few years ago). It’s the child-like nature of the graphics that’s initially so puzzling: the stylised sun, mountains and clouds, the collaged cars, the lack of proper perspective and the dashboard (with the group visible in the rear-view mirror and the designer Emil Shult in another, smaller mirror on the left). Again, with more knowledge of the group’s thinking it makes more sense. Kraftwerk were huge fans of the Beach Boys – “wir fahren, fahren, fahren auf der Autobahn” sounds very reminiscent of the American west coast group. Also, their nascent intention even at this early stage of their career was to make industrial-age pop music. In this light, the cover design is much less forbidding, more human and approachable than the formal iconography of the motorway sign (here applied perhaps for consistency’s sake as a sticker). Even so, it’s difficult to believe those four guys in the back would go on to record Man Machine and Computer World.

The group’s visuals for their seemingly endless Minimum Maximum tour conflate both approaches and display period illustrations of empty motorways and carefree drivers, a time long gone that’s illustrated sonically at some concerts by the starter motor struggling painfully to engage the engine. By the way, the driver of the Merc on the left? It’s probably Florian Schneider, co-founder of the group. He owns a large fleet of classic Mercedes cars.

See also:
- Autobahn (UK version)
- Minimum Maximum CD/DVD box
- Neon Lights 12″
- Pocket Calculator 7″

A little further reading:
- A Kraftwerk Overview
- Minimum Maximum DVD review
- Minimum Maximum CD review
- Kraftwerk 2004 concert review

jar moFF collage

Author: Colin | Published: 28/6/09
Previous Kraftwerk – Autobahn (UK version) Next Kraftwerk – Autobahn (non-UK version)

ola1lastmikro

jar moFF recently sent us this. We liked it so here it is.

Really nice stuff! So I thought about sending you a link to a 25′ sound collage (secondhand vinyls, b movies, video tape cut-ups) I’ve recently finished and a photo of 25 hand made cd-r sleeves made by cutting up 70′s greek newspapers and magazines, glue, acrylic paint, fabric etc. I thought you might like it.

Kraftwerk – Autobahn (UK version)

Author: Colin | Published: 27/6/09
Previous Soul Jazz compiles “Revolutionary Jazz Cover Art 1960-78″ (Fact magazine) Next jar moFF collage

kraftwerk-autobahn-1

kraftwerk-autobahn-1

kraftwerk-autobahn-1

kraftwerk-autobahn-1

Artist Kraftwerk
Title Autobahn
Label Vertigo
Year 1974
Designer Unknown, possibly Barney Bubbles
Music Electronic
Notes This is an absolutely iconic design and it’s an oddity because this design was only distributed in the UK. We’ll post about the design for the rest of the world in a few days.

I first saw this version at the tender age of 8, in 1974, when my dad brought it home. A lifelong classical music stalwart, Autobahn was his one concession to popular music and it had a profound effect on me. I listened to the 22 minute title track over and over again on his headphones, loving the synthesized sound of the cars whooshing from one ear to the other, right through the middle of my head. The bridge that crosses the two white lines always seemed to symbolise my headphones listening in to the roar of traffic martialled into a modern-day symphony. The two pieces of brown sticky tape affixed to the lower corners makes my copy unique. I recently asked why they were there and was reminded that my Dad had to repair the sleeve after numerous borrowings in my teenage years. It’s the nearest thing to a family heirloom I’ve got.

Autobahn is fascinating because of its translation of the concept of travel into musical form. This transmission from one medium to another wasn’t a new one, but the extent to which it reduced the distance between musical composition and referent was and remains striking. Its central motif isn’t a melody, but the sound of cars approaching and moving away from the listener. The design perfectly encapsulates this by appropriating the motorway symbol and placing it so that it fills the cover from top to bottom. There is no end to the journey in graphic terms, it’s implied that the road continues outside the frame of the cover. Similarly the music ends with one more passing car rather than the sound, say, of an engine being turned off (Autobahn’s railway counterpart, Trans-Europe Express, ends with the sound of train brakes squealing).

Typographically, the design is fascinating as well. The letters R, W, R, A, U, A and H in the title are escaping from their settings, literally tracing new roads, setting off for  destinations unknown. At the same time they’re dancing – the W, U and H waving and punching the air and the Rs and As stretching their toes out. The letter forms presage the tremendous influence the group would have on dance music and on the musical world as a whole. Similarly, the icon-focused design was the approach the group would take in its latterday releases, except that from Man Machine onwards they made the four members of the group integral to each design. The graphic below is from the group’s yet to be released career retrospective:

katalog

Autobahn is an utterly brilliant synergy between music, concept and visual design. One last thing: there’s no designer credit on the Autobahn sleeve which seems fittingly utilitarian.

See also:
- Discussion: Who designed this version of Autobahn? on { feuilleton }
- Autobahn (non-uk version)
- Minimum Maximum CD/DVD box
- Neon Lights 12″
- Pocket Calculator 7″

Soul Jazz compiles “Revolutionary Jazz Cover Art 1960-78″ (Fact magazine)

Author: Colin | Published: 25/6/09
Previous Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, Volume Four Next Kraftwerk – Autobahn (UK version)

freedom-maiiiin

Sounds promising!

Link: FACT magazine – Soul Jazz compiles “Revolutionary Jazz Cover Art 1960-78″

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