Outkast Double Album

Project Duration:
4 weeks

Tools Used:
Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator

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Outkast is a very well known American Hiphop duo formed in East Point, Atlanta, in 1992. The band consists of two Atlanta based rappers Andre “Andre 300” and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. The groups original musical style was a mixture of dirty south, and g-funk. Other musical elements such as funk, soul, rock, electronic music, psychedelic, spoken word poetry, jazz, and blues elements have been added to the groups musical palette. The group was formed while they were attending high school and has been together ever since. Their first album was released in 1994 and the song “Player’s Ball” reached number one on the billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. In 2004 their double album Spearkerboxxx/The Love Below won the Grammy Award for Album of the year, the first and only for a hip hop group.

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Their audience is aging hipsters and new R&B audiences alike will delight in the re-release of Outcast’s critically acclaimed hit The Love Below. In actuality, Outcast’s popularity extends beyond the very hip. Audiences of all ages, genders, and races enjoy their fresh and fun music. Outcast is never high brow or elitist. They are the cool older brother that everyone wishes to be around. Always a step ahead, always well received.

For the first iteration of the album I wanted to really show the bromance that is going on between the two artists. They have been making music together since high school, to convey this love between them I used warm complimentary colors, and lust script for all titles. I really wanted this album to be as epic and grand as the music itself.

In photoshop I took images of Big Boi and Andre 3000 and turned them into brushes, which I then made three separate layers and stamped the brush on each layer with different colors to get an interesting layering effect. This effect symbolized not only the soul of the music, but also how many different musical styles are intertwined in their songs. For the text I used the blend mode “divide” to get a beautiful airy texture that complimented the imagery.

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However in the middle spreads I felt like the lyrics were not working, the typeface along with the color just felt sad and contained compared to the imagery. Even the title of the songs just didn’t have that special something that was happening with the dynamic between the two artists.

 

I also noticed a disconnect between the the imagery between the cover and center and the back cover. On everything else the two artists feel larger than life and on the back they suddenly felt small.

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During my next pass I really wanted to get back to what I was originally going for, I wanted to celebrate the fun spirit of the two artists. To do this effectively I had to marry the imagery and the type. When I took a closer look at what was working with the imagery, I noticed it had an almost 70’s feel but yet their music is so young and modern I needed to find a typeface that was both modern but gave nod to the 70’s.

The typeface that I settled on was Gothic Open Shaded, it is bold and still playful. Its airy quality truly mirrored the smoke that is in the background, while still having the texture that was happening with the artists.

For the center spread I condensed to just two song lyrics, and played with the scale of the type to mirror how the song sounded when I listened to it, which lines were emphasized, what really stood out. I strived to make the lyrics as eye-catching as the imagery is.

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For the back of the album I condensed everything down, and made the two artists bigger so they felt larger than life like they appear on the front and the center spread.

The actual physical vinyl would feature the same layered treatment of the artists, just having fun and really featuring them being themselves.

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