Words by Sophie Minello
At a Half Waif show in July, I approached the merch table ready to purchase a CD after the marvelous show. I wasn't sure if what I found at the table was a CD, because it seemed like it was a work of art in itself. An eye catching sculpture to house an ear catching assortment of sounds.
Pavonine Packaging was created by Brittany Gannon in 2012, an independent project that creates unique CD packaging for bands. We dug into her mind about her ideas, inspiration, and designing.
Before I found Pavonine Packaging, it would have never even crossed my mind that the case for an album could be a work of art in itself. How did the idea of decorating album’s come about?
My boyfriend is a musician. Whenever he was ready to release one of his EPs I wanted him to feel good about the physical version. I wanted the packaging to stand out and draw people in so that they would buy and listen to his music. His existing fan base loved it too.
I am not musically inclined so this was my way of being involved in his love of music besides being a fan myself.
What are some things you take into account when designing these cases?
I have to consider cost of materials, time, practicality, my own sanity. This is all in addition to what the client wants. When designing I have to have a feel for what they are looking for and how they fill out my order form can really determine their own satisfaction with the end product.
How would you describe your design style and how do you incorporate the musicians style with your own?
I don't know if I have a style. Maybe I do but I can't see it. I would need someone to tell me what they think after looking at my work.
What projects are you working on right now?
I just finished up the packaging for Archie Alone and now I am working on CD packaging for Your Dog.
Why do you think artists are interested in having these out-of-the-ordinary CD cases? Likewise, why do you think it’s important for creatives to set themselves aside from the crowd?
I think they want something that more closely represents their music and the hard work and love that they put into creating it. Bands rely heavily on merchandise sales because shows don't usually pay enough for them to get by. I think if they have cool merch on their table they are likely to make more money and be able to make it to the next show. I try to keep my prices low enough for the musicians to still make a good profit.
What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged or are going through a creative drought?
I find that time is all I need...so far. If I go about my day and maybe surf through some images of packaging online I eventually get inspired by something.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Pavonine is my hobby outside of work! I have a very demanding day job and this is what I do when I get home everyday. We’ll see how long I can last going at this pace haha.
What advice do you have to aspiring designers?
Don't be an asshole.
Don't take advantage of people.
You will deal with some bad people who screw you over but the majority are going to be really awesome people who love you and your work. Don't let the assholes change how you interact with the awesome people.
Communicate! This is really hard for me but you save a lot of time and effort by communicating what you are doing before you do it.
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