About Amy Munoz and the Strange Vacation: Amy Munoz, a rock songstress and multi-instrumentalist, has played in various Tucson bands for decades. I was the drummer in two of her past bands, Mozart's Sister and the HypnoGogs, in the mid-2000s. Her influences range from straightforward rock to blues to 70s punk. Amy's warm and sultry vocals are carried by some of Tucson's top musicians, including Chris Martin, Damon Barnaby, and Doug Floyd. The band's influences span from PJ Harvey to Kathleen Edwards, Anne McCue, and Crass, creating a unique sound that blends various genres and styles.
Concept Development: 
The album design concept was inspired by Kayla Von Der Heide's moody photography and the band's experience recording music at Sonic Ranch. The title Nashville, California, evokes a blend of country charm and Amy's rock influence, which I aimed to represent visually. The goal was to create a visual representation that would arouse curiosity and warmth, mirroring the auditory experience of the album.
Design Elements:
Color Palette: A mix of warm browns, reds, and tans to reflect the warmth of the music.
Imagery: Beautiful photography of Amy and the entire band was the main focal point throughout the album design.
Typography: The client chose a traditional Western-looking font for the album title and band name that integrated seamlessly with the overall design. I initially used a hand-drawn-looking font, but Amy resonated more with the one you see in the printed final album and cd design.
Option 1: Handwritten, Edgy Font
Option 1: Handwritten, Edgy Font
Option 2: Traditional Western Block Typeface
Option 2: Traditional Western Block Typeface
Research and Inspiration: I began by immersing myself in Amy's new music, gathering inspiration from the lyrics and sound, especially her blend of country and rock.
Sketching and Conceptualizing: Initial sketches focused on translating the band's musical themes into visual concepts.
Digital Design: Using Adobe Creative Suite, I refined the chosen concept, paying close attention to color balance, detail, and overall aesthetic. In addition to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, I used Adobe Firefly to enhance some of the photography and expand the canvas background realistically, adding depth and continuity to the design.
Feedback and Revisions: Collaboration with Amy was crucial. Regular feedback sessions ensured the design aligned with her vision and artistic identity. She is a pleasure to work with.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Before and After Image: Credits on CD
Original photo
Original photo
I used Adobe Photoshop to create a new sky and color
I used Adobe Photoshop to create a new sky and color
Finalization: The final design was polished and prepared for print, ensuring high-quality resolution and fidelity to the original concept. I worked with the printer to ensure the designs met their specifications.
Outcome: The finished album cover for Nashville, California, perfectly encapsulates the essence of Amy Munoz and the Strange Vacation's new music. It has received positive feedback from both the band and their fans, enhancing the visual identity of the album and creating a solid first impression for listeners.
Conclusion: This project was a testament to the power of visual storytelling in music. By combining imaginative design with a deep understanding of the band's artistic direction and musical influences, I created the album design that represents the music and invites listeners to Amy Munoz and The Strange Vacation experience.
Client: Amy Munoz
Photography: Kayla Von Der Heide
Photography Assistant: Katie Haverly
Album Design: Julie Bonner

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