Animal Years 



Animal Years, a band based in Brooklyn - NY, is a favoured band of mine in which seems that their self-promotional branding has jumped into an interesting direction that I don't believe is in their best interests. Their genre tends to coincide with other indie-folk artists with stomp and holler included within recent songs. The imagery used for initial album “Sun will rise” is understandable as it was their first album though it may have been on the nose as it was the image of a sunset/sunrise. Their second album “far from home” depicts children playing in the woods which represents their albums main concept very well, but the imagery itself doesn't create an aesthetic associated with the genre of music. The Indie-folk genre is an incredibly creative genre that uses a variety of artwork and styles and so it wouldn't make sense to distance themselves from the styles within the genre.

As a way of learning about the band’s personalities and intentions behind the albums that can only be found where they share their connection to the album, I watched and listened to interviews. The individuals talk about their feelings towards certain songs or their experiences to which could influence designs. Such anecdotes as when and how the song Caroline was written. The song was written as the main singer travelled home through North Carolina while talking about someone who he hasn’t seen in a while because he was touring. Another reference could be how the guitarist Anthony directed the music video to “friends” and the song reminds him of his childhood of playing with his friends with the only awareness of time is the sunset.

The “sun will rise” album focuses not only on the concept of there will always be another day but the idea of things always getting better. A range concepts can be found within the design such as the phrase “when God closes a door, he opens a window”. The imagery within the window depicts someone with a rope around the sun representing the person constantly following the tomorrow. While the imagery behind the door shows the valleys within Baltimore where the lead singer originated and based part of the album on. On their second album “far from home” there is an emphasis on friendship and childhood. Both illustrations show the activities that a child would do in their childhood, having fun and playing about while not wondering about the time or concerning themselves on heavy concepts on life. The change in colour would give the band an ability to change colour per album to create variety within each album while staying consistent but also progressive.

Besides from the main album design, I have been able to apply the illustrations from the album cover to promotional material and merchandise. Due to the illustration, it creates its own grid that I can work around with text. As the band had created different types of posters, I created just that, by making a poster for their tour dates, and one for on-location venues. Using their tour locations and dates that they originally used I was given an accurate amount of information to make the poster as realistic as possible to what it would have been if they took this path. The illustration gives me the colour palette for the accompanying text as any other colour would have no place within the promotion. The illustration can take up whatever space is needed meaning the information can range from a few phrases such as the on-location poster, to the tour dates with copious amount of text. The posters created, use the illustration that is on the back of the album as a way of diluting the replication of the front cover design. The front cover design Will be placed from places from Spotify playlists to the first thing that people see in a shop, by using the secondary image, it shows the album and design style while not using the same image over and over again. As the illustrations can also be used as a piece of art, I have created posters that would be sold at gigs, their online store or anywhere else that would have the ability to sell gig posters. As there is an audience that may favour the artwork over the music and in a sense promote without intending to.