This was my final album cover for MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. First of all, I’m going to go ahead and let you know that I am a complete photoshop newbie. I have never used it before and I was actually really concerned when I decided to take this project on. But I came up with this idea and dived in.
MGMT’s original album art for Oracular Spectacular is this
I’ve used it a few blog posts back to talk about colour so you might have seen it before. Since I know MGMT have music that’s mellow and a little on the darker side because they cover topics like death and drugs and living carefree lives, I decided to go ahead with a darker sunset. My original album art didn’t end up as pink as the one that I uploaded, I had to play with the colour filters on photoshop a little first. Before, it looked like this.
You can see there are a lot more yellows and blues than pinks and reds. Luckily, that was the easy part when it came to photoshop and nothing I had to ‘google’. I just clicked on the ‘filter’ tab and experimented until I liked the outcome.
On the original album art, you can see that MGMT is written in a funky font. I wanted to do the same thing since they are the focus of the piece, of course. I stuck to photoshop’s preset fonts and chose desdemona. I like the curves of the lines and think they go with everything MGMT stands for. The title of the album, however, I kept simple. In the original, the title isn’t even on the front of the album. So I knew it would be tricky to put it on the image. That’s why I kept it as simple and bland as possible because my picture is already busy as it is.
All of my photos were taken with a DSLR camera at Lake Wilcox in Richmond Hill. I used four different images in the cover art to make a transition from day to night. So basically, I stayed at Lake Wlicox for two hours and snapped a picture every fifteen minutes as the sunset. It was cold but I had my friend there and a good playlist on my phone to keep me occupied!
These are a few of the pictures I took.
The reason why the photos aren’t at exactly the same angle is because we didn’t have the piece of the tripod that attached the camera to it (fail) and we ended up tying the camera onto the tripod with our hair elastics…
I experimented with the size of the circles MGMT is written across, and also with the size of the fonts. I made so many different versions and sent them to at least three friends asking which one they liked best.
I used the two circles, by the way, because I thought they went with the whole ‘oracular spectacular’ title. I imagined them as two moons overlapping against each other. To suit MGMT’s psychedelic style a little better, I had my transition from day to night go diagonally so it would be even stranger than the time-lapse photos you see that go vertically.
I originally wanted to do the Toronto skyline (like the photo above only at Centre Island to have the lake in it) but MGMT is American and it wouldn’t have made sense for their album to have Toronto on the cover.
So this was my work and I’m proud of it and think the time and effort paid off! In class I got good criticsm only someone pointed out that my lake was a little lopsided – oops. The reason for that is because of my use of elastics to hold the camera down due to the missing tripod piece. But again, MGMT is a little funky and I think their album can pull off a lopsided lake! I was also told that it may have been a good idea to move the ‘oracular spectacular’ title lower. That is interesting but I did have it down there while creating the cover and thought it looked better on the top with the MGMT title.
That’s all! Hope I did MGMT justice.