Responses by Cast Iron Design
Background: We worked with folk rock icons The Avett Brothers on an ambitious design for their latest studio album, Closer Than Together. Scott Avett, an accomplished visual artist in his own right, provided us with the album’s cover artwork and tasked us with designing everything else.
Reasoning: Our initial design inspiration stems from Scott’s cover art, which embodies the idea of duality. The design mirrors this notion in several ways with: the division of light and dark backgrounds; the juxtaposition of serif and sans serif typefaces; and the contrast of the muted exterior, black and off-white, with the vivid interior, bursts of color.
Challenges: We had a lot of back and forth with the label in order to dial in the print production details, like the timeline and the budget. We specified a six-panel, tri-fold jacket design that utilizes a custom diecut, custom 100 percent PCW paper, three spot colors, and printed record sleeves. The band loved our print production ideas and even took them a step further—adding in the idea to incorporate two different colored records that borrowed the color palette from our jacket design. The band championed our concept and made sure each detail was executed exactly as we had planned. It was awesome.
Favorite details: We specified a 100 percent PCW paper for the jacket, which saves a significant amount of water and energy. We also utilized a custom diecut, a great sustainable production technique that requires no ink or chemicals and only a small amount of energy.
Visual influences: We heavily leaned on the band’s photographer, Crackerfarm, who is an old friend of the band and photographed them for many years.
Time constraints: The timeline was one of the most challenging aspects of the project—we were initially given two business days to complete the first round of the design.