If you haven’t already heard, it’s time you found out about The New Humans’ debut ‘Avalanche’ EP. As the band’s designer for a year and photographer for over two, it’s been amazing to watch The New Humans grow into the colossal force they are today. On Saturday, August 21st, The New Humans and I will release ‘Avalanche’ at the Townhouse to the masses.
Rough art concepts for the ‘Avalanche’ EP began early this year. The entire identity of the EP was designed around a stunning photo from The Herbert Collection which I’d stumbled upon in Sac State’s library. I turned the first few pages of the beautifully aged book, saw the image, and immediately could feel and hear TNHZ‘s ‘Avalanche’ pulsing through the paper. After several meetings with the band, we all agreed the image would make the perfect centerpiece to build upon.
I created a wordmark for The New Humans using the realist and modern typeface Univers. I felt it expressed the personality of the band, especially when the right colors were applied. The artwork creates nostalgia and hints at old science fiction book covers and movie posters from the late 60s and early 70s – both major inspirations for me. An accent magenta color was added to show the new and contemporary feel of the band in contrast of the retro imagery. With the artwork established, I was able to apply it to a flyer and poster design. The front and back of the flyer is shown in the last image above.
As a musician, you are always searching for imagery that accurately represents your music. It’s a very hard and scary process. With our band exploring many sonic textures on this album, we were daunted by the task of capturing all the musical elements visually while still maintaing a sleek and simple design. Luckily, we’ve got Mr. Ortega on our side.
Before we began designing the artwork, Raoul and I outlined two general concepts for the EP – we wanted to use a found image, and with said image, create a visual entity. We talked about artists like Stanley Donwood (radiohead) & Scott Hansen (tycho) who we admired for constructing a brand of sorts with every album they design — a visual stamp made on the music which inevitably becomes infused into the music itself. Think Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” or Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”.
When Raoul first sent me the image from The Herbert Collection, I was floored. It was the first and only image he ever showed the band, and right away we knew it was the one. As Raoul mentioned, the artwork evolved rather quickly after that. The text was added, tweaked, and finalized in a matter of days. The interior jacket sleeve was designed using type as texture, and the jewel case inlay is a glitzy remix of the nostalgic cover. With these elements added, we feel like we were very successful in creating an accurate visual representation of the album.
To further our pursuit in creating an entity around the album, promotional posters and flyers were made using the album’s general design scheme. We also redesigned our websites in accordance to the colors and images of the album. Needless to say, we feel we’re well on our way to imprinting ‘Avalanche’ in the minds of the masses.
– Cole Cuchna
The ‘Avalanche’ EP Release Party is this Saturday August 21st at Townhouse in Sacramento. The night will kick off at 9 pm and you will finally be able to get your hands on a CD.
For more information, go to The New Humans ‘Avalanche’ EP Release Party event page.
Check them out on their website, myspace, and facebook.