It’s been almost two months now since our album, Sankta Lucia, was released. Everything’s gone really well and the feedback has been great! In this post I’d like to talk to you about all the design work that went into this album. You’ve already seen the posters, but now I’ll dissect the CD cover. I wanted to wait until a lot of albums had been sold before I did this so that our fans could have the pleasure of discovering the design elements for themselves. I know this is often something people look forward to and I didn’t want to spoil the experience.
So here is the Sankta Lucia digipak cover with its 24 page booklet. I spent a long time discussing the look of the cover with our factory to get this finish where you can see the paper fibres. Vincent Pianina often advised me on the choice of materials.
As this is an album about travel I wanted cartography to feature in the design. On the cover you can find the exact places which feature in the songs. I was also very inspired by the imagery of trains. I spent hours in Lyon library researching train signals and any design elements relating to tickets and travel. The style of old timetables was really inspiring.
I really liked this timetable, which I found just like this with the photograph in the bottom right. I thought this idea was cool and it became the inspiration for our poster.
This is another example of train imagery. For the CD itself I came up with a design which looks like a technical drawing of a train wheel. My degree in Engineering turns out to be useful sometimes, although I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in that wheel.
I used some photos that I had taken during a trip I took in August 2008. I wanted it to seem like the group had been to all these places before we’d even gone there. I worked on all the artwork and photos between January and March 2011 so that the album could be made in April. However, the trip we took where we filmed all our clips didn’t take place until August. We therefore needed to be ready a long time in advance. This is why all the group photos in the album were actually taken in Lyon. I decided to only use blue and red, so that all the images tied together. It was nice going back to the places from the photos to film them, however in some cases a lot had changed in two years.
I bought this dress for Alizée. It’s a wonderful hand-embroidered Hungarian dress from the twenties.
Apart from this I made almost all the costumes myself or I collected items which would look like folk costume when they were put together. I studied a lot of original sources and I was also really lucky that a Polish friend lent me a folk waistcoat, which she had as a child. From this I was able to do some reverse engineering and work out how to make a replica.
It took me a long time, but it saved me a lot of money. Speaking of money, we had just under €6000 to make this album. Printing and pressing a thousand albums cost €2500 alone. With the rest of the money I had to cover a 10,000km trip for 4 people, all the necessary equipment (steadycam, memory cards, batteries etc) and the costumes. This basically meant I had no money for the costumes. For example, Lea’s headdress (now the trademark of the ‘girl who plays the flute’) was inspired by the Czech national dress, but on a smaller scale.
It’s my dream to collect all sorts of costumes like this one. As I rarely find any, I make everything myself.
The picture in the middle of the booklet is of Saint Lucia. This festival really inspired me and provided many of the colours in the album. The theme of light was important for us.
By the way, this photo of a forest was actually taken in Ödland in Sweden.
Religion, or rather religions, were the final major inspiration both musically and artistically. What I mean by religions are all the big ideas which have torn the world apart and are based on myth. For me Nazism and Communism are included. At their time they were terrible nightmares where reason had been completely forgotten. The bell towers on the last page are all European and I have visited most of them. The churches come from everywhere: Warsaw, Prague and Bratislava. There are also synagogues from Budapest and Ottoman minarets from Sarajevo and Tuzla.
I really wanted the design to tell a story and be an integral part of the album. If you would like one they can be found here. In another post I’ll do something similar about our musical inspirations.
Translation: Thank you Clare Stovell