Feature 009 - ‘Out Of Focus’ Album Rollout
Music, Album Artwork, Branding, Merchandise

My First Album Release Project

In early 2020 I was contacted by Youth // Service to help them with developing the artwork for their forthcoming album ‘Out Of Focus’. They had a basic style, and since we’d worked briefly together in the past, they were happy to let me take most of the reigns with the look of the overall project.

This was my first foray into cover design, however knowing that this was the space I wanted to work in primarily, I put all my effort into developing a strong and cohesive visual, that would satisfy both the band as clients, and my own hopes and expectations.

The first piece to designing this album cover, and what would eventually dictate and inform the rest of the visual identity for the albums rollout and release campaign began with sketches of various ideas for cover designs, loosely based on the information provided by

the band. Attempting to focus on the groups core identity and themes revolving around their online presence, and how the recording process for this album coincided with the first time any of them met one another in person. Working with some supplied visuals like photography and their own initial ideas, slowly over a handful of weeks the cover came to fruition with somewhat of complete cover.

Over the next few months as the album worked away towards completion, I began toying with marketing strategies and ideas on how to develop anticipation and hopefully help get their audience excited for an imminent release. We began by releasing a sort of ‘redux’ of their recent singles, with newly designed artwork and visualisers made by myself, all in line with elements of the visual direction for the upcoming album.

As well as this, we aligned on the visual style, opting to embrace the low-fidelity film photography captured by group members through their recording sessions, as those unintentionally out of focus photos acted as the namesake for the album, and as such became key to the visual dynamic.  

As the album’s release got closer, more artwork was created for the single covers - a simple design that complemented the now finalised, and more stripped back version of the main cover.

Alongside the music released, and the promotional efforts organised for the band’s social media page, two seperate merchandise lines were devised to coincide with both the albums release, and with the debut of a series of livestreams featuring acoustic versions of songs.

The nearly 12-month long project was a rollercoaster, with big events in-between from smaller EP focused projects, to album reworks, not to mention lockdowns overshadowing much of the later production process of both the album and elements like merchandise, however the overall success is measured in the amazing feedback from their fans, and with my ongoing work with Youth // Service as a band, and as friends who’ve welcomed me, and had me stay on to work with them for all ongoing projects.

Photoshop, Illustrator,  Premiere, Analogue Design

Jack Churchley is a Sydney-based Graphic Designer working in and around Music, with 5 years of experience designing for an array of artists, from International acts like Kevin Abstract and Nate Dae, to local rising talent, all across digital and and physical processes, to create uniqe artwork.

(EM) intermission.designstudio@gmail.com
(IG) @Jack.Churchley / @Intermission.DesignStudio