Friday, 18 April 2014


Secret 7” is an annual competition that brings creative together to raise money for charity. The organisation takes 7 tracks from 7 well-know musicians globally and invite creative to produce the vinyl sleeves for these tracks. The creatives are anyone who wishes to submit their designs as well as famous designers and illustrators. 

For my submission for Secret 7” I listened to all 7 songs that were possible choices to design for. The 7 tracks were;

Age of Reason – Black Sabbath

Grounds for Divorce – Elbow

Strange Creatures – Jake Bugg

Team – Lorde

Karmacoma – Massive Attack

Virginia Plain – Roxy Music

Get It On – T. Rex

Having listened to all of the tracks, I then chose 3 to look at in more detail. The three I chose to look at were; Strange Creatures by Jake Bugg, Karmacoma by Massive Attack and Get It On by T. Rex. To provide a platform for inspiration I looked at the lyrics of each of these songs.

I went through the lyrics and highlighted the lyrics that stood out to me and that I though had potential.

After reading through the lyrics of each song, I selected a song that I had an idea for. The chosen track was Get It On by T. Rex.

Focusing on the lyrics, ‘Well you’re windy and wild/You got the blues/I’m your shoes and your stockings/You’re windy and wild’. I chose to use arguably the most iconic image of wind in pop culture (Marilyn Monroe in the white dress). The reason I chose this image over others of her dress blowing up was because in this image more leg is showing which makes the illustration I added more prominent.

I sexed up the image by adding illustrated shoes and stockings – in keeping with the lyrics. To produce the stockings I printed out an image of Marilyn Monroe and drew over the top of it using tracing paper.

The illustration was then scanned into the computer, taken into Adobe Illustrator and finally turned into a vector. Having it as a vertor I was able to resize it and manipulate it in any way I wanted to.

I cropped the photograph so that it would have more impact on the shape and size of the record sleeve. I made it square, only showing the legs and some of her waist and dress.

I chose to rip and scan the photo to add a more rock and roll element to the work, enhanced by the illustration being crudely placed over the top.  

To me the song has quite a sexual element and that is what I chose to focus on, using an iconic sex symbol and making her more risqué and racy by adding suspenders and black shoes. 

I tried two layouts to see which I preferred, however, after a discussion with my peers, the decision was made to use the image with the torn edges rather than the one below. The torn edge gave the image a much more rock and roll feel and was therefore more appropriate for the song and for the band.

As with the song, the outcome is more suggestively sexy rather than directly sexual. The combination of the beauty and elegance of Monroe and the provocateur-ish addition of the stockings also echoes the lyric ‘dirty sweet’, which is repeated throughout the song.

The strengths of this work are its strong connection and inspiration from the original song, which in turn creates a strong concept and therefore the overall outcome and aesthetic is appropriate and clear.

The weakest part of this work is probably the technical aspect. Although there are some technical design features, such as the layout, the tearing of the photo and the illustration, it is not ultimately that technically challenging or interesting.

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