Project: Music packaging, for Excellent Gentlemen

Excellent Gentlemen
Music packaging

Packaging for a northwest neo-soul outfit

We don’t tend to do much music packaging. But our pals in the Portland-by-way-of-Albany-NY neo-soul project Excellent Gentlemen asked us to look at packaging for their first full-length album Just Say Yes: their music owes much to the 1970s, and considering we were alive back then – and most of their other friends weren’t – we thought we’d take it on.

Exterior and interior

xG Chief Administrator Steveland Swatkins has a jones for ladies’ lips. And sleazy depictions of same were a hallmark of late 20th-century photography (viz. Manarchy), Since this was done on the cheap, he rounded up some of his law school coeds and delivered them to Richard Spottiswoode, a ex-pat Brit who works for bottles of Samuel Smith’s. He had some old GAF slide film in his freezer, which he paired with a vintage lens and a layer of gauze to evoke a seventies backyard bacchanal.

The rest of the work was done by Herb Lubalin’s infamous display face, ITC Avant Garde, whose latest release contains all of the freaky ligatures its creator intended. Avant Garde is meant to be agorophobically letterfitted, and requires a fair amount of handwork and customization. And yes, that is trompe l’oeil wear and tear you see, in the proportions of a CD, not an LP. High-larious, right? Okay, have it your way. We make our own fun.