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2023 WCMA Excellence In Visual Design Final Nominee (Fire It Up album cover, One Heartbeat From Heaven single cover)

Photography by Phil Crozier

The Fire It Up album includes traditional Gord Bamford party anthems, alongside meaningful ballads. With that dichotomy in mind, I took a sophisticated fine art approach to the album cover. I recreated Phil Crozier’s photo as an oil painting, complete with visible paintbrush strokes, and I aged it, adding cracks throughout. I kept the title treatment crisp — running along the bottom, to anchor the image overall. The title is outlined in red with streams of heat rising from it, similar to livestock branding, for a raw country reference.

“One Heartbeat From Heaven” is the heart-wrenching lead single. With such intense subject matter, I felt a conceptual cover was the best approach. Here, intersecting threads represent the many roads we travel in life and how they often cross and connect. The zigzag stitch repairs a torn corner, making it stronger than before, much like the song’s protagonist. The stardust filled hourglass is a metaphor for a precious life: we began as stardust, and in the end our spirit flies free as our body returns to the earth. I kept the artwork both deeply meaningful, and also still very within the Bamford brand.

Date & Time

April 28, 2023