Today we go into the album’s related visuals: the snapshots Marika took during the first weekend recording, and the subsequent work I did for the album cover design. —Keir

PHOTOGRAPHY

TO MARIKA: What was your thought process when shooting us? What did you consider when composing a shot and/or what did you want to create?

MARIKA: I tried to capture each of you as individuals, with your unique personalities, expressions, types of humor, etc. At the same time, I wanted the to capture the band itself as one cohesive group. In order to do accomplish both at once, I had two strategies: 1) if I took a picture of only one person, I would take a similar picture of each of the other members (for instance, if I caught a nice one of Brian in a red/black hue, I would then take one of Bryn, one of Keir, once of Billy). 2) If I wanted more than one person in the shot, I would do my best to include the entire band in the shot or at the very least, the instruments of the people I wanted to include to remind the viewer that the individuals are a part of a bigger whole.

All of this I tried to do in the least intrusive way possible. I don’t think I ever asked you guys to stage a shot for me, now that I think about it. I wanted to capture you guys, not what I think the band should be or should represent. It sounds complicated, looking back on it, but honestly it was a very organic process with three loose rules that I tried to follow: show the unique individual, show the cohesiveness of the group, don’t intervene.

DESIGN

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KEIR: I’d been doing most of the Honey White design work (for better or worse) since we started in 2002, and I remember feeling super-amped for the opportunity to make a real CD cover. The overall concept is strong: I wanted to document the fact that for the first time we’d be recording a real album in a real studio with a real producer.

It ended up being a grid for three reasons: 1) I knew I’d be using Marika’s snapshots, and since there wasn’t one all-encompassing image, I went the montage/collage route; 2) a formative impression many years prior from another cover design ensured that grids were basically my default layout, and 3) after trying many different color palettes I landed on a combination of cool colors, because to me (and Bryn) that’s what reverb, echo, and big spaces look like: shades of blue, green, and purple.

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Just for fun, I tried carrying this concept over to potential/imaginary “single” covers, but those ideas weren’t as realized and indeed only one of them—the “apple/citrus” color palette—saw release as our 2005 demo. That CD-R, released in January ’05, was both a useful way to get gigs and a convenient scheme to release our “Dead Man” cover, which in a terrible collective lapse in judgement was left off the album.

I’d only been working as a professional designer for about a month (at BBM&D in Ventura) before we went into the studio, so I consider this project the last of my pre-professional design work. In hindsight it’s a good cover but not quite my best one; it’s a bit unrefined but still better than most of my amateur work up to that point.

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Never did get to do a real vinyl album cover though…