Adventures in accidental design

On Monday I got an unexpected email: “Do you do CD artwork?”

The request was coming from one of Ireland’s top musicians. “These are some CD covers i like … if you had any ideas i’d love to see your work,” he wrote. I was so surprised and star-struck that I forgot I’m not really a graphic artist.

Still … four hours and 30 layouts later, I’d come up with a few options:

Distressed CD cover 2 BLOG

Distressed CD cover BLOG

Evolution CD cover alt 3 BLOG

Guthrie alt BLOG CD cover

Seated Man BLOG

Open road BLOG CD cover

Tree BLOG CD cover

No word yet on my musician friend’s favorite(s). But if you were shopping for a celtic-folk-rasta album, which cover would most draw YOUR eye?


  1. These are amazing, great job! My favorite is the “tree and wood” on (and the poll agrees with me for now), yet I also really like the last one, the evolution of man and the road to nowhere. I think simplicity is key in graphic art/design. Please keep us updated on what his reply is!

    • Thanks so much, 8able! I’m happy to report that your (and my) favorite is leading the pack. 🙂 And I loved your very insightful comment about simplicity — it was very much on my mind as I designed these, so I’m very gratified that came through. In any case, I’ll report back with the results. Thanks again!

  2. body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}Nice stuff. I’d vote for the evolution graphic, but maybe add dreadlocks to the profile. And give the third-from-left figure a bodhran to go with the giant tipper. TO’S

    • Hahaha, Tom! Your comment about the dreadlocks has given me one more idea: How about a rastafarian leprechaun? We could call him a “rastacaun” and make his catchphrase, “They’re always after me lucky joint.” 😀 And good point about the bodhran, but (with apologies to Máirtín de Cogaín) I must respectfully decline: Then we’d have to also add an accordion, and a banjo, and some uilleann pipes, and a tin whistle or two, and some spoons … and I’m really just too lazy to spend *that* much time with Photoshop.

  3. Blimey, H, I think you’ve just found yourself a new career! These are excellent, all the more so for being so diverse.

    My vote is for your poor old house, which for me stands out a mile. It has a world-weary, dog-eared, spin-us-a-yarn look which intrigues. The last pic is wonderful in a 70s, back-to-nature, beard-and-sandals-folk way (!) and the wooden one is very striking. Contrary to other voters, the evolution one is the choice I like least, as I think it’s a rather well-used concept. My 2nd choice would actually be the cityscape with the circle of writing: nice contrast between sleek modernism and the traditional celtic typeface.

    Good luck – hope this goes somewhere for you! 🙂

    • You’re far too kind, as always … but thank you for that “blimey.” 🙂 Perhaps it sounds a little egocentric to admit that I also adore the house photo, but it really captures how empty and desolate it felt for a while. I’m personally very smitten with the bearded man, though, and with the wooden one. I think it’s my inner tree-hugger telling me to spend less time making CD covers, and spend more time outside. But thank you for being such a loyal reader, and such a kind one too!

    • Ha, ha! Too bad Kindle doesn’t support fancy fonts, Tom — we could have had a field day with the typography! Oh, well. We’ll save that for the print edition. 🙂

  4. Wow, you surely have many talents. I like the first one and the road to nowhere, however I think the evolution man adds a bit of humor. But the first image is my favourite. It that interior designer in me, can’t help it, I love interiors. 🙂

    • Ah, Danish Exchange — I wish you lived a bit closer so the interior designer in you *could* help us pick out floors and tiles and colors! Our house looks much less desolate now that it has walls, but it’s still an empty slate.

      • Ooh me too, so would love to sit and have a cuppa with you. Send me some photos though if you want. Perhaps on Dropbox, I would love to give you some inspiration. hugs x

Leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s