When I go to London, there’s a smell that I struggle to identify. It’s like a combination of burning metal and fruity perfume. Much like London itself, it starts off sweet, hyper and addictive; but soon transitions into a harsh, toxic and repelling stink. Although Northern and therefore biased...
...I do realise that London is the place to be in the U.K for the creative industry. It’s ever booming with galleries, events, and exhibitions. A couple weeks ago, I witnessed a mass of talent as I visited the art exhibition curated by Secret 7”.
Secret 7” is a creative initiative that since 2012 have produced 3,500 one-of-a-kind records for 35 different tracks and raised over £175,000 for various charities. This year, profit is being donated to Mind – the mental health charity. Each record has 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians, and on 24th June, 700 bespoke sleeves designed by creatives all over the world were available for sale. At Studio Paul Bergman, we’re fortunate enough to have not just one, but two designs in this year’s Secret 7” exhibition.
When deciding on a song for this year’s entry, we couldn’t decide on just one, therefore submitted to both ‘Help’ by London Grammar, and ‘I Saved the World Today’ by Eurythmics. These songs called out to us because we felt as though they really associated with the theme of this year’s charity – mental health. The melancholy elongated call for ‘Help’ from London Grammar sent a shiver down my spine the first time I heard it; which lead to our concept of capturing the feeling of goosebumps – an overwhelming sense of emotion that causes the hair on your body to stand.
Much like the song, we wanted to capture this feeling as natural as possible, so it was our challenge to firstly find a model, and secondly stimulate goosebumps on her skin. We wanted it to be delicate and beautifully shot, but with an unsettling crop of the skin texture. Our collaborative photoshoot, directed by Paul and I, used a cold environment created with ice packs and a fan, that to a pleasant surprise began stimulating goosebumps on our model Lisa Kobzina. Little tricks, such as a feather and cold drinks applied directly to skin kept the texture from disappearing, and our stylist Violette van Zandbeek highlighted skin tones with makeup. Together, with photography from Tom Bergman, we had an array of beautiful shots to select from.
Our second design for Eurythmics ‘I Saved the World Today’ resulted very different to London Grammar. The typographic design reads ‘You are the problem’, and is contained with a grid along with various emojis. We found the song’s lyrics to be very poetic; with dark words such as ‘bomb’, ’bleeding’ and ‘grieving’, the song has an ironic uplifting sound. Our interpretation for the song, and concept for our design is inspired by social conformity. We juxtapose global threat with attitudes of lighthearted ignorance. Instead of facing problems directly, communication can often be misguided. This concept really reconciled with myself because I would say I fall into this category of person – somebody who lacks general passion for the environment, but keeps up to date for social purposes.
what I enjoyed most was seeing how different people interpreted the 7 songs, and being able to identify correlations between submissions
It was a pleasure to see our designs displayed at the Secret 7 exhibition, however what I enjoyed most was seeing how different people interpreted the 7 songs, and being able to identify correlations between submissions. For example, I kept seeing the ‘This way up’ packaging icon, to which I can only think of it representing the song ‘I’m not down’ by The Clash. Also it was really interesting to see designs that used a variety of print and media. I wasn’t aware that you could submit physical artefacts; perhaps these designs were by the invited special guests, but it really brought a extra dynamic to the display. If we were to do Secret 7” again, it would be great to get involved in the production as well as design, however we are very pleased with this year’s results, and hope that Secret 7” sold all their records on the 24th June.
Published by: Andrew Fish in Studio