Hearing the back stories or words of wisdom from those you respect is always a great way to learn. What works for them could potentially work for yourself. Recently Michael Cina, artist, designer and all around Renaissance man, updated one of his sites Cina Text with a number of questions that people have asked him with well thought out, detailed answers. I was pouring through the site last night, there’s a whole lot of content, and I’d suggest taking a look and soak in some wise words. Here’s one of my favorite questions.
You’re a bit of a renaissance man—you’re an artist, a designer and a typographer—how does that play out when you’re designing for an album cover, where do you start first: with the art or the typography?
Recently I have been thinking about this topic. I feel that design is an exploration of semiotics, the visual language of what all images say (typography included). That is my main guidepost for producing an album cover. I am trying to use album covers as a mode of communication.
A lot of times I start with visual ideas and more often than not, I leave type twords the later part of the process. I can do anywhere from 10 to 100 visual ideas, so by that time, the image becomes a little more elevated in its importance.
The typographic aspect of the project is usually me getting myself out of a corner that I put myself in by not thinking about more about the typographic aspect. I use type sparingly on a lot of covers, but I am always aware of what it is saying.
Recently I started on a cover using typography as the main element. After two hours of working on it I ended up doing a cover with no type on it at all!