Back to the Future


My friend Jed Davis, for whose recording company Eschatone Records I had designed a vinyl record label, recently asked me to design packaging for an unusual project. While most people in the recording industry are trying to figure out "what's next", Jed was asking the question: how can I get back to basics? What came before MP3s, before CDs and Casettes, before 8–Tracks, and before 33, 45 and 78 RPM records? The answer: wax gramophone cylinders, of course! So Jed decided to release one of his own recordings not only as a digital download but, hoping to reach the untapped centenarian demographic, also as a limited edition, signed wax gramophone cylinder. But unfortunately, as Jed was to learn from The Vulcan Cylinder Record Company, it had to be made of hard plastic instead of the traditional wax. Undaunted, Jed decided to move ahead declaring that since it would be hard plastic "it will never degrade, no matter how many times you play it on your family Edison". He also decided to accommodate all those without gramophones by including a free digital download together with the purchase of the cylinder.

When Jed asked me to design the labels for the cylinder, I thought "Well, I've designed covers for LPs, for cassettes and for CDs. This may very well be my last opportunity to design a gramophone label." The title of his release was "Yuppie Exodus from Dumbo", and Jed gave me free reign to design both the wraparound label and the round label for the top of the cylinder container:

 

When the labels were finally printed by Vulcan, the colors came out a little differently from what I had designed, but I have to say that I'm pretty much OK with it. I think it does give it a slightly more vintage feel that's appropriate for this project:

This is a signed (by Jed and by me) and numbered edition limited to 50 cylinders. Hear the song and purchase the cylinder/download HERE—before it's too late!