CD Cover Design – Deconstruction skills


1. Overall Design

By looking at this cover art, potential TA will be able to understand what this CD is about. It has dark, criminal look, The Kills looks rebellious on it. This cover is simple yet striking and suggest that their music is the same. Their music about the contact and attitude, therefore the art work is the same. The Kills don’t want to look polished, they are nonchalant and rebelling against mainstream conventions. In all ways musically, stylistically and even promotionally they are trying to show themselves in alternative indie way. This cover has two photos of the band members, where they look very rough. Both photos remind me of ones, which criminals are getting in the police station after arrest. By looking at this cover TA will see dangerous, uncontrollable, loud people, who like to fighting, enjoys taking drugs and love alcohol. Also, guy is holding money in his hand in a way it looks like he is a big gambler. Bruise under his eye suggests that these money he got illegally. TA will be interested in it as they are willing to be like The Kills in some way, they want to be rebellious and not frightened of anything. They like the idea of them and their idols  sharing same interests and having similar lives. This cover tells us about The Kills style of life and about their personalities. This cover shows content of this CD, style of music and gives rough image of lyrics content.

2. Text

There are no much text or any promotions on this cover page, it tells people, that The Kills are targeted on those, who appreciate good music, not good promotions. Font chosen for the band’s name, shows that this CD is not targeted on particular, male or female, gaze. It is written in bold, with capital letters which shows that it is quite masculine. However, it is just another way to show content of this CD, one more way to show that it is targeted on rebellious, indie people. Chosen font style reminds me of American gangster movies, which are all about fights and money. It is strongly supported with photos used for this CD package. However, even though that it has retro feel about it, it also has a 1930s style added to it. Moreover, this cover looks a little bit odd and has a out fashioned feel about it, which is not exactly what TA will expect from The Kills. From the other hand, being non-mainstream and unconventional is what band is trying to do. Golden colour used for the font, is mature and again, is a reference to gold and money. The album name ‘NO WOW’ is a part of the photo. Alison Mosshart is holding piece of paper, covering her eyes with NO WOW written on it. This photo remind me of one people get in the police station. They used handwriting for the album name and it looks a little bit messy, like it was quite random. It represents them like spontaneous people, who like to take risk. Also, it make potential TA to read band name first, as it written with the bigger letter, which stand out on this cover.

3. Band branding

Band was represented on this cover, as rebellious people, who like to break the law. They look like people who do drugs and have criminal record. Cover style has strong rock influence, but golden colour makes it a little bit more indie and alternative. Also contrasted black and white shows that The Kills are rebellious and dangerous. This contrast made this photo looks a little bit like graffiti, it made this cover more alternative. However, album name didn’t influence cover that much. ‘NO WOW’ can be interpreted in lots of different ways. This cover might show some kind of sequence between two of those photos. Alison is holding a paper with ‘NO WOW’ written on it, while Jamie holding cash in his hands. It looks like ‘NO WOW’ is some kind of reaction on cash. Also, guitarist has a bruise under his eye, what suggests that he got money illegally. Moreover, on the Alison’s photo, she looks a little bit like prisoner. It can suggest their future in some ways.

4. Graphics & Photography

This cover doesn’t have any graphics in it. Two images are changed in Photoshop to black and white with the high contrast. Black and white colours represent the genre and mood of the CD, it looks dangerous and aggressive. However, golden softened it and made cover more alternative. All of that shows and supports context of the album. Photos on the cover also represent style of The Kills and content of this particular album. Band looks dangerous, indie and rebellious on these photos. They are shown in this way through their poses and props. Jamie Hince holding money, in the way like he got it illegally. Also he has on this photo it looks like he has a bruise under his eye, what makes him looks more brutal. By holding this paper, Alison reminds me of the person arrested by the police, for drugs or alcohol, even though she holds the paper in the different way. Both of them look dangerous in those images, outside the law. It helps to reflect their attitude and character. I don’t think that cover was inspired by the album name, but it looks harmonic.

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