CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: The Sunset Marquis

ITWCR Cover

Client: The Sunset Marquis
Written by: Craig Williams and Mark Rosenthal
Art Director: Geoff Ganz
Project: “If These Walls Could Rock”
Packaging: 190-page, Limited Edition, Photographic Anthology

“If God had invented a hotel for rock bands, it probably would look like the Sunset Marquis,” said Rolling Stone’s Dave Marsh. In celebration of the legendary hotel’s 50th anniversary, owner Mark Rosenthal, along with author Craig Williams, penned a tribute to the landmark, accompanied by photos from some of rock’s most sought-after photographers.

DoradoPkg teamed up with GRAMMY-award winning Art Director Geoff Ganz on the printing and production of this 190-page, limited edition hardcover book. We – the marketing team at DoradoPkg – sat down with project coordinator Gary Gonzales and owner Jennifer Freund to talk about the process.

How did you initially connect with Sunset Marquis about this project?

Gary Gonzales: Rich Horowitz, founder of the Morrison Hotel Gallery – which moved into the Sunset Marquis in 2012 – was talking to Sunset Marquis owner Mark Rosenthal. Mark mentioned he wanted to do a book to commemorate the hotel’s upcoming 50th anniversary. We’ve worked with Rich in the past, so DoradoPkg was the obvious choice and the rest, as they say, is history.

What was the production process like?

Jennifer Freund: The files originally came to us as 4 Color Process but in order to gain the depth and the “color pop” that Sunset Marquis warranted, we discussed running additional spot colors. In the end we ran it as a 7 color project, dry trapped in separate press passes and were very pleased with the outcome.

G.G.: Exactly. In order to make the book look its best, we couldn’t just run it CMYK. Based on the way the files were built, that would have resulted in a ho-hum book, it wouldn’t have had impact.

So we ran CMYK and controlled all of the solid blacks, reds and grays by running them on a separate pass. The richness of those colors helped augment the photos and made them spectacular. It was beyond what he had hoped for. We created a stunning effect by running those colors as solids.

How did DoradoPkg preserve the quality of these original photographs?

J.F.: Part of the charm of this volume is that it combines images from various photographers to tell the hotel’s 50 year story. From a production standpoint, that means that all the photos are slightly different.. Ultimately they need to appear as a cohesive body of work. We achieved this by manipulating each pass on press separately to get the elements that were critical to that collection of pages, and to match it up to the rest of the book.

G.G.: Also, we looked through the whole book from the beginning and identified each of the photographers and where their work appeared, so when we got to press we could deviate from the proofs. We made some slight adjustments to help match all of the photos throughout the book.

The cover is really interesting too, in that it’s a hard-cover book, but it has an almost plush feel to it. Why is that?

G.G.: When the cover on this job came in, it was the darkest cover I had ever run. For it to weather well over time, we covered it in a protective scratch-proof lamination. It made quite a difference. It feels smooth and really brings out the quality of the printing.

DoradoPkg is known for printing vinyl record jackets, but we’ve printed quite a few books in the past year. Are there any similarities in the process?

Jennifer Freund: We consider ourselves to be very fortunate to have been presented with some very, very, creative record jackets that clearly aren’t just jackets. They are in themselves works of art.. We love to work on these projects because it lets us really show what can be done with this whole medium. We see it as an art form and not just a packaging or printing product, so an anthology about a music icon is a natural evolution in our work with Album Cover Art.

This has materialized in different forms of music packaging. Musicians, especially those looking to reward their fans, are putting together three dimensional products, like box-sets or pop-up and 3-D Jackets. These projects are so diverse – for example The Tedeshi Trucks Band box-set we recently printed is literally a cigar box. For a recent Dylan project, we printed a hard cover book. All kinds of wonderful things are happening. Music packaging has become an art form. It’s quite a lot more than ink on paper.

Read more about “If These Walls Could Rock” on The Sunset Marquis website. Click here.

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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: THE FAINT

Doom Abuse

Client: SQE Music
Artist: The Faint
Project: “Doom Abuse”
Packaging: 12-inch Gatefold Record Jacket with Printed Inner-Sleeve

We had a blast working on this project from SQE Music. The first release from The Faint since 2008, Doom Abuse is a Direct-to-Board, 12-inch Gatefold Record Jacket with a variety of special modifications. Dapose, the band’s guitarist, is also a talented art director and the brains behind this amazing album cover.

In order to make his design for this Deluxe Album Cover really pop, DoradoPkg used foil stamping on roughly half of the front cover in a rich red. Elements on both the front and back cover (like the sofa, legs, bookshelves and fingers) were printed with a spot UV coating. This lends a bit of shine to certain elements, almost creating a layered, 3-D effect. The art inside of the Gatefold was printed matte, accentuating some sepia and gray tones.

Check out additional photos below and be sure to pick up your copy on April 8th!

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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: BEACHWOOD SPARKS

Client: Alive! Natural Sound
Artist: Beachwood Sparks
Project: “Desert Skies”
Packaging: Standard 12-inch Record Jacket with Printed Inner-Sleeve

DoradoPkg loves a band that loves their art. Beachwood Sparks certainly fits that bill, having created beautiful albums (and album covers) that make up a rich part of L.A.’s music history. For more on the band’s past, check out this great article over at Aquarium Drunkard. We recently chatted with bassist and founding member Brent Rademaker about the band’s latest – yet perhaps oldest – release “Desert Skies.” Brent talked about the band’s visual journey, his love of vinyl and why the shelves of record stores are so important…

On the Design of “Desert Skies”…
The album cover was re-imagined. The photos we used are from ’98, but the cover itself has a more modern feel. Since the record was supposed to come out in the ’90’s, I imagined the cover differently from what it turned out to be. I think the current version looks more like poster art, which makes sense. This release, the music, it’s almost like a documentary. So the cover helps illustrate that. It’s special – the fact that this album gets out to people is crazy.

We enlisted our friend Yasmine June who had done an actual tour poster for our 2011 Santa Cruz show, which is in line with the art for our other releases. You’re so close to it [the whole project] when you’re in the band. For all Beachwood Sparks covers, we would know an artist and ask them – the first album was designed by Chris’ girlfriend and the second was by Aaron’s (our drummer) neighbor. For the third EP we hooked up with an illustrator – so it was always whoever was around, which makes it kind of a magic thing, almost like the recording process itself – maybe that’s why a lot of demos are better than the album.

We’re really proud of this album cover. It’s actually the second version Yasmine did, which the band loved and the label loved. When everyone loves it you can do so much more with it – you can really come together. But again, since this record was supposed to be released in the 90’s, we used an old picture. It’s actually from one of our first promo shoots – maybe for LA Weekly or something. Because of that we had to Photoshop one guy out and put Tom in there. Since we really only have pictures of Tom sitting down playing drums, Yasmine had to find another guy’s body – dressed like us – and then photoshop Tom’s head in. So everything has a story! Even the design of the album cover.

On Liner Notes…
The liner notes for Desert Skies are extensive. I had to recount the story of how Beachwood Sparks was formed – they were super important. In terms of the visualization of the liner notes, I was pushing for more of a re-issue aesthetic. Maybe some guy found an acetate and he’s the one who wrote the liner notes. So you’ll open the dust sleeve and you see our story. Keeping all that in mind, I tried to make it so that if someone reads the liner notes twenty years from now, hearing the music, looking at the album cover, they’ll know what the band is about. Liner notes and full artwork really just make it all happen. There’s a story there.

On Physical Releases and Cover Art…
It doesn’t matter if you have 50, 500 or 5,000 records if you connect enough with the person, or the fan. Vinyl helps you figure out how committed you are to music.

For me, since I bought my very first punk record, the cover has always been so important to me. One of my favorite parts about putting a record out – actually my two favorite things about putting “Desert Skies” out are 1. the cover and 2. the limited edition starburst vinyl. People are totally responding to the cover – it’s going to look good in their record collections and on record store shelves.

Which is what I like the best — seeing a record on the wall at Amoeba or whatever record store you’re in that looks so cool you actually stop to check it out. I’m stoked to be a part of that tradition. It’s really important.

On the Production Process…
I’m excited to be talking about printing and this part of putting a record out because it’s something I can share with our fans and open them up to this kind of stuff. I really like to know that records do more than just magically appear. There has to be a reason behind them and it’s a collaboration between so many people. Everything, including this record, has a story. It’s all connected to something better and it’s all part of the creative process.

To get your copy of Beachwood Sparks’ long-awaited “Desert Skies,” head over to Alive! Natural Sound or click HERE.

Client Spotlight: Bob Dylan and Art Director Geoff Gans, for Sony Music

Dylantourbook

Client: Geoff Gans and Sony Music
Artist: Bob Dylan
Project: “Time Passes Slowly”
Packaging: 148-page, Hardcover Collectors Book

“Time Passes Slowly” is the second deluxe edition photo book for Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series, Volume 10: “Another Self Portrait.” John Cohen and Al Clayton, two acclaimed photographers, are featured in this edition.

DoradoPkg worked with Dylan’s Art Director of over 17 years (and five-time GRAMMY Nominee) Geoff Gans, who designed this incredible project, bringing the photos of Cohen and Clayton to life. The 148-page book contains rare images of Dylan, embodying the spirit of Greenwich Village in the late 50s / early 60s, including John Cohen’s famous image of Dylan on a rooftop in 1961. On assignment for Columbia Records, Clayton photographed Dylan and Johnny Cash in-studio and on set for Cash’s TV show.

Gary Gonzales was DoradoPkg’s point person for this Dylan project. “Because some of the photos were ‘soft focus’ due to the images being from the 60’s, we used 133 line screen instead of more conventional 175 LS, which helped us print the images sharper,” says Gonzales. “The black and white images throughout the book were initially given to us as CMYK files. When we proofed the CMYK files, we found that they were far from being neutral in hue, in fact they ranged from blue to red. So we converted them all to grey and black duographs and achieved the consistent grey balance that helped make this photo book so special.”

Gans was pleased with the way these images were handled: “This book had its challenges as we had very saturated color images, and also very neutral black and white photographs, so we had to find a way to bing them all together, and make each image stand on its own visually,” says Gans. “I’m extremely happy with how the book turned out, particularly with respect to the photos.”

He continues, “Attention to detail is always my primary concern, especially with a project of this magnitude. Over promising and under delivering doesn’t fly!
Everyone at Dorado was very straight forward, creative and extremely helpful in pulling off, not only a tight deadline and turnaround, but manufacturing a book that had to be at the highest quality for my client.

“It was great to work with all the folks at DoradoPkg. Being able to meet people, face to face, that are actually working on your job, is extremely helpful in getting the best results. I love the feeling of a shop that values more personal contact – makes you feel comfortable in situations that are often pressure filled!! Special thanks to Gary Gonzales and Jennifer Freund for all of their efforts in coordinating this project between Dorado, Sony and myself.”

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: DJ DAY & PIECELOCK 70

Photo courtesy of Piecelock 70


Client: Piecelock 70
Artist: DJ Day
Album: “Land of 1000 Chances”
Packaging: Old Style Tip-On 12″ Record Jacket with custom wrap

We can always count on our client Piecelock 70 to bring some incredibly creative ideas to the table, from People Under the Stairs’ 2011 release, Highlighter, to DJ Day’s Land of 1000 Chances, pictured above (courtesy of Piecelock 70). Released earlier this year (and already sold out!) the Old Style Tip-On Record Jacket includes a leather casebound wrap, gold foil stamping and a removable polaroid. The project was the first of its kind and we worked hard to perfect such a unique project.

This month, Piecelock 70 is back on our printing presses for a re-issue of DJ Day’s The Day Before – which was originally licensed for release through MPM Music in 2007. Check out our Instagram account for photos!

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: SUPERHUMANOIDS

Superhumanoids
Client: Superhumanoids & Innovative Leisure
Album: “Exhibitionists”
Packaging: Standard 12-inch record jacket

DoradoPkg has been a fan of Superhumanoids ever since printing their 2010 debut EP, Urgency.

Check out the cover art for Exhibitionists, also printed at DoradoPkg… We can’t wait to get our hands (see what we did there?) on the full release, out this July via Innovative Leisure. Printed as a standard 12-inch, we love the dynamic colors of the album cover, designed by Hassan Rahim with photography by Nick Walker.

More info available here!