As Emily and I were finishing up the last few tracks of "Down The Doors", we started coming up with ideas on how to represent the music visually. We had a few desires for any potential cover artwork:
- A violin needed to be visible somewhere on the cover
- We wanted a bit of stylistic grit in the artwork
- We wanted something slightly different than The Outsider, to emphasize Emily's new role in Chance's End, but that still maintained some sense of continuity from the last album.
We began a search scouring the internet for reference material. We even waded through stock photography websites (I'm aghast now that we even considered the thought). We enlisted the help of our fans, who came back with some great suggestions. We looked through the work of local San Francisco artists. But nothing we found could quite convey the feeling we were going for.
Finally, while doing a deep browse through Google Images, I stumbled across this page, and my jaw hit the floor. This image of the violin embodied everything I could have hoped for in a cover. It was a stylistic violin with a bit of grit, and it had a completely different feel than the cover to The Outsider while still maintaining an abstract sense of continuity. And it had dragonfly wings, a completely coincidental reference to the track Dragonfly.
I contacted the artist, Lyric Kinard, to see about licensing the photo but not getting my hopes up too much. But to my delight, Lyric was amazingly gracious with the use of her artwork. Not only does the piece "S'ignature: Key of F#" grace the cover of the album, but a few other pieces in the same series are part of the rest of the album design.
I feel so incredibly lucky to have found Lyric and her artwork. Please check out her website lyrickinard.com to see some more of her art. She also wrote a wonderful blog post on her website about the album, and has taken some great shots of the CD package.
After finding Lyric's artwork, the design came together quite easily. I enlisted the help of San Francisco duplication house DVD Copycat for disc duplication, and we iterated on some wonderful ideas to make the final package really "pop". We added a pseudo-emboss effect using a gloss layer to accent the violin-dragonfly image and the album title, and on the CD itself we used a special metallic ink to make the disc art really stand out. I'm really pleased with the end result, and I'm sure you will be too - you can purchase a copy for yourself at CD Baby.