A new wave of Frank Ocean design
This project was aimed at re-designing Frank Ocean's Channel Orange into a more complete brand that also better suits how Ocean's aesthetic has developed since the original release of his debut studio album.
One of the weakest points in Channel Orange's original design (in my humble opinion) is the typography treatment.
So that's where I started...
Original Channel Orange Album Art
I pretty quickly landed on pairing Josefin Sans with Abril Fatface, based on how their strong formal differences complement each other. Even though I chose these two fonts early on it wasn't until several iterations later that I came up with the final lockup.
Most of my earlier ideas revolved heavily around using vector shapes and larger blocks of color in order to create a consistent visual identity.
Early Front and Back Cover Designs
After several different layouts with roughly the same direction I decided to take a step back and re-think my approach. While I thought using waves as an identity for Frank Ocean was a clever pun, it didn't really feel like it captured his aesthetic or the way that he has recently branded himself.
Josefin Sans 27pt
Abril Fatface 44pt
So I decided to get back to the basics and start from scratch with a new type lockup. After laying out the text I almost stopped there as the final album art, but I decided to experiment a little more and integrate it with a photo.
Final Type Layout
As a design student with limited resources, my image options were defined by what I could find online. Which made it more challenging as I had to create visual connections between photos with very different moods and art direction.
I took two different approaches to the images I found. With most of the images that I used for the interior panels I adapted my color palette to fit their aesthetic, with the cover however, I took it into Photoshop and added subtle artificial orange lighting, to make it better fit both the album's title as well as the rest of the design.
Image After Clone Stamping and Initial Edits
Image After Adding Orange Lighting
Final Album Cover
Rather than implementing the design into a traditional jewel case I decided to create a 3 panel layout so that along with the front and back covers, the different elements could work together in spreads. This decision allowed me to have a little more creative freedom in how the physical pieces interacted.
The next step in the process was finalizing a color palette. While the Dark Blue and Orange of the cover were a good start I felt like I would need a more robust selection in order to work well with the images that I had selected. As a photographer, integrating photos well is something that I always prioritize in my projects. Whenever possible, I try to do this in a way that creates visual consistency, and with this project I felt that relying on Grayscale or Gradient Maps to create unity would be an unnecessary visual crutch.