Art with sound box set
design by silnt | buy it here
Total reggae by Super5

Long wave by the last mix tape

Hard format
"It seems like everybody’s talking about the end of physical music media. Who knows whether they’re right or not, but Hard Format is a little place we’ve set up to celebrate our love of brilliant music-related design." Selection of their selection...
SP | STANDARD by voov
alejandra román &

Ritxi Ostáriz new works


Interview with Marc Bessant
I never do interview for this blog. After I found Marc Bessant on behance, I thought it was the occasion to have answer I ask myself... He has done the new "3" Portishead album, as well as Peter Gabriel album as he his working for the realworld label...
Can you please introduce yourself, personnaly and professionaly?
Marc Bessant. Born - Bristol 1972. Education – Sporadic. Qualifications – none. Like many people, after leaving school I was unsure what to do with my life, I had always liked music and art so after a short musical interlude in London, I put pen to paper designing album covers/t-shirts/posters for local bands, soon I noticed that all that loud music had not only affected peoples ears but also their eyes as well, as work of mine was beginning to sell, I continued painting canvases in my spare time and even had a couple of one-man shows in the mid 90s but I was getting more and more interested in commercial art, especially posters and record covers, so I carried on doing work (mostly for free) along those lines for various outfits/DJs.

As passionate as I was about it, I couldn’t make ends meet, eventually getting a job in a small printers firm in Bristol (which I enjoyed immensely) which taught me a lot about the process’ involved, something which later I would be grateful for. Then in 2000 I received a call from RealWorld asking me to bring my portfolio in for a viewing, I cobbled a book together and took it along.

The first project that specially attrack me on your behance folio, is the latest portishead album. Can you talk about the process of making such a design ? Did you work with the band or with "marketing people" ?

I’d worked closely with Portishead from the beginning and after the ten year gap from the last record I knew the only visual which had stuck in the public eye had been the ‘P’ character, it was an estabilished brand which I wanted to not only reintroduce but reinforce. We were keen to avoid anything ‘conceptual’, no puns or noir imagery, that was all dead to us, I wanted to present a box, which simply holds the music, with the least amount of information on it which would ultimately say everything – essential minimalism – which I felt captured the eastern block coldness of some of the music I was hearing in the studio.

I was a little concerned the record company wouldn’t bite on it as there was no title on the cover, pretty picture of beth or moody snap of Geoff but they, like the band, were very supportive. I tried many processes to get to the cover, paint, perspex, screenprint, tracing paper, until eventually settling on a combination of a couple then scanning in to the mac.

I also see you can do very unusual process for this Portishead album as the USB logo, and "The rip" single. Can you talk more about this special RIP 12"...

The process for The Rip single was a bit of an experiment really, ideally I wanted a matt black laminate film, which would give a very deep rich black and also cut down the chances of smudges/fingerprints then screenprint a matt black image on top of that – unfortunately time was tight and the record company couldn’t source the films so it got a little compromised leading to a slightly unsatisfactory finish, however, always wanting to keep there groups happy they allowed us another go, this time with a reverse process ie matt stock with a satin ink screenprint on top. This worked better.

Concerned with the black on black all being a little TOO heavy I opted for a one colour inner bag to just set things off before getting to the vinyl and etching itself which is the same Nick Uff illustration as on the sleeve only this time a matt on gloss.
You are currently working at realworld. Can you present the label to people that may not know it and you work there ?
RealWorld was set-up by Peter Gabriel in the 80s, primarily as a recording facility for bands from all over the world that ordinarily wouldn’t get heard by the masses, it grew into a record label, festival creator (WOMAD), Design Dept, multimedia centre and ultimately a place where ideas could take shape without the corporate eye over your shoulder.
Do you work in the realworld studio ? As I follow Peter Gabriel work for years, I know he invites people from all over the world in the studio to record their album then issued by realworld... Are you involved in this process? Do you design artists sleeve together with them...
I work in one of the many buildings here at RealWorld, a stones throw away from the recording studio where I do all the art and design for RealWorld records and, when possible, deal directly with the musicians involved.

I also see you have done work with Peter Gabriel for the latest UP album, and the UP tour which follow, can you talk about this ?

Peter Gabriels ‘UP’ was a longer process than P3, not so immediate, I wanted to give a hefty nod back to the early albums which Hypgnosis had done where Peters face had been distorted or melted (or both) - fortunately Peter was up for that too but also wanted to include somehow his love of photography, the original idea was to send various tracks to various photographers and see how they interpreted it but time was against us so instead we did it the other way round where we looked at lots of photographer and said ‘that suits that’ etc.

The cover was taken by Susan Derges by firing drips of water in front of Peters face then photographing them and to this day I still meet people who didn’t realise PGs face was there in the background and distorted in all the little blobs of water which acted as tiny lenses.

Can you show us some "behind the scene", I mean first ideas or projects not accepted by Peter Gabriel or Portishead ?
Most projects I have sketchbooks and scribbles which show ideas in development , often its a right mess and only makes sense working backwards from product, I’ll take a look but I’d prefer to not show that stuff just yet.

What is your next aim ?
Not sure, set up by myself or with a couple of others, i’m not too precious about it all, just do good work when I can

What other work you are proud of and would want to present?
I love doing gig posters, its what got me into this lark and what I continue to get pleasure from doing but theres less of a call for it in the UK also I think that’s changing so...
Thanks a lot Marc
To know more about Marc, check his behance page as well as his recent blog.


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