Work Associates looked to some of the Germanic influences on The Rakes‘ third album, Klang, to create their entrancing typographic sleeve for the release and the supporting singles. Here’s how they did it…
Recorded in a former radio studio in east Berlin (and titled after the German word for “sound”) Work based their imagery partly on Bauhaus principles and on colour theorist Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack‘s 1920s experiments with various apparatus that could generate moving projections of coloured light. His processes were later explained in his booklet, Farben Licht-Spiele.
“Hirschfeld-Mack’s idea seemed to convey the appropriate movement to suggest sound in a single image,” explains Work’s Rob Crane.
Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack’s original machine for projecting coloured light
“In his ‘Colour Light Plays’ multiple coloured light sources were photographed through a cut-out mask. So we built a replica of his apparatus in the computer using Lightwave software.”
Screengrabs showing the virtual apparatus, adapted from Hirschfeld-Mack’s projection machine
The resulting letterforms were then re-drawn based on a Josef Albers stencil sans serif (which, actually, later became Futura Black) as the shape of the font was more suited to the cut-out masks originally used in the apparatus.
Back cover of Klang
Group shot as featured in the sleeve inlay
Work applied the same graphic approach to the singles 1989 and Reason.
More work at wrk.me.uk.