Makin' A Life
2018 WCMA NOMINATED ARTWORK
Dean Young’s project came to me without title, so the concept developed from the seeds of rough mixes. After several listens I noticed a common “building” narrative throughout Dean’s music. Building a relationship, maintaining a relationship, building a family, and the overall theme of the album really speaks to Dean “Makin’ A Life”. I suggested this title as I felt it really captured the entire collection of songs and how each of Dean’s stories tie into one universally relatable experience, where we are all working towards “Makin’ A Life”.
The cover includes a photo of Dean looking down on the life he’s building. While there may be a few holes and cracks on the surface, he appears content with where he’s at today. The cover includes the new Dean Young logo created for this release, which has a great vintage feel, inspired by an old Hank Williams Jr. album.
The back cover brings out the deeper meanings of the album concept. The maze represents the twists and turns life throws at you as you make your way through each and every day. We start as the mouse, moving along the path as we encounter each track, before reaching the end where the roots of our tree of life have taken hold.
This inside layout literally represents the album title. Here Dean is in a workshop of similar vintage to the cabin on the cover. The workshop itself has probably seen a life or two of makin’ things. The men’s shaving gear on the left panel is a nod to the fact that during the photoshoot Dean and the photographer decided to shave his beard into a horseshoe mustache. We used a few of those shaved shots for Dean’s single covers, so I included it as a fun Easter egg for fans to find.
The Dean Young hourglass on the CD label represents the finite time we have on earth. The sand flowing into Dean’s name is, in essence, the sands of time, representing a life well lived for Dean and for his mature fan base. This design has a stunning simplicity and clear brand message that resonates.
The hourglass, maze and tree elements were carried over into all marketing and merchandise for this album cycle. The hourglass maze t-shirt concept explores how we have limited time to weave through the maze of life and make it count. It reminds us to not waste time on indecision; sometimes a seemingly “wrong” turn can lead to fantastic ends. The tree rings t-shirt design represents the layers of life experiences that shape us into unique human beings, like the rings of a tree.
From beginning to end, Makin’ A Life was built on a solid foundation of Dean’s own musical storytelling, always keeping his authentic stories and his core audience in mind.
- Client : Dean Young
- Date : 27/07/2017
- Tags : BRANDING, MARKETING, MERCHANDISE, PACKAGING