Category Archives: Shows


Launch 2011 is fast approaching. This premier event will entail displays of art, graphic design, photography, and major emphasis on fashion. This year’s music headliner is Neon Indian, a psychedelic synth-pop artist whose sound has been compared to a cross between New Order and a saw wave cutting a Doobie Brothers song in half. Currently touring with Sleigh Bells, they’ve also played the late night stages of Kimmell and Fallon, and received high praise from the New York Times, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone, just to name a few.

Launch Festival is an invigorating audio and visual experience you won’t want to miss. This third annual festival will be on July 23rd at The Greens Hotel in Sacramento. For more information visit or to buy tickets online visit


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The New Humans ➡ Avalanche

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.

-Raoul Oretga

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.


Filed under art, creative, creative process, Design, Music, packaging, print, Shows, TNHZ, typography

Dusty Brown ➡ Harlow’s

Last night Dusty Brown performed with a live set and no computers and I believe it was there first time too! It was nuts. I was really impressed and I wasn’t the only one. The songs sounded saw raw! The lighting inside Harlow’s was so perfect for taking pictures too. These are just a few of shots I captured last night. Head over to my Flickr to check out the rest of the set. Dusty Brown is due to release new music pretty soon so stay updated on their Myspace.


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Sacramento’s Electronic Music Festival was a great success. The energy there was like nothing I have ever seen before in Sac. I managed to get a few shots during The New Humans show on Friday and a lot of Saturday’s show of Paper Pistols, Sister Crayon, Tycho, and Dusty Brown. You can see more of the photos from the festival on my flickr photostream.

ISO50 shows some love.


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The New Humans will be performing live at Sac State Wednesday February 3rd at noon in the University Union Redroom. Their concert will include new songs from there upcoming Avalanche EP. The event is absolutely free so there is no excuse not to see one of Sacramento’s best bands. Not to promote playing hooky but even if you have class you can be a few minutes late and check out TNHZ.

For more info check out

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The Last Club Pow

So the Monday night was the officially the last Club Pow at the Press Club (RIP). Here are the last pictures of The New Humans and Dusty Brown you will ever see of them there. It was a tough night for me to take photos because of the massive crowd around the stage but I managed to pull some really nice shots. Both bands gave amazing show for the crowd and performed new music as well.

A big thanks to Ira Skinner for delivering flawless audio that evening and for all of those unforgettable nights at Club Pow!

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TYCHO ➡ Nocturne Poster



Here is Scott Hansen’s (ISO50) latest work for his upcoming Tycho show in Toronto. I was stunned when I initially saw these because they look different than most of the work that he has done in the past while still portraying his signature style. In his recent work he has really utilizes the use of silhouettes as a central focal point for his designs. Scott has really become a master of layering using here about 20 image layers overlayed with various blending modes masking them with the woman’s silhouette. His excellent choice of color only enhances the composition in both posters.

To read more about his poster and upcoming show go to the ISO50 blog.

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TNHZ Update

FEVER 'Teaser' CD

FEVER 'Teaser' Inside Sleeve

FEVER Teaser Cover Art

If you haven’t heard already TNHZ’s Fever Teaser is available at The Beat and Cuffs Urban Apparel. You can buy the Fever track on iTunes as well.

Here is some news you probably haven’t heard yet: The New Humans are back in the studio recording 7 songs for their full length EP. They will be in studio for the next few months and I will be posting updates as they get closer to the release. Over the next month or so I will be working on the EP artwork as well and I might post some teaser shots of the artwork during development stages. So be on the lookout!

TNHZ will have their last show in Sacramento for a while on November 30th at the Press Club with Dusty Brown and Shaun Slaughter. That’s one evening you won’t want to miss.

You can mentioned we’re going into the studio for a few months to record 7 songs for our full length EP and that our last show in sacramento for a while will be nov 30th at the press club w/ dusty brown and shaun slaughter…
the meeting was good…i’ll tell you about it next time i talk to you

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TNHZ at Luigi’s Fungarden










Here are some of the photos I took of The New Humans at Luigi’s Fungarden during their show with Royal Bangs. TNHZ gave a killer performance to an electrified crowd surprising them with a brand new song to end the set. I’ll have more photos of the night on flickr soon.

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