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Projects of Christmas Past

2012 December 3

Here’s a little something from the archives which it might be fun to share. A couple of years back, I got a gift for one good friend using time and creativity rather than my credit card… a custom compact disc of tunes by the late Bix Beiderbecke (Davenport, Iowa’s most famous son). It isn’t especially difficult to burn music onto a CD, of course, but what separated this gift from the average “mix tape” was the packaging:

Front cover of 'Bixology'

front cover

This is the cover I designed, but I didn’t stop there. Oh, no. I actually produced a whole folding paper package with front and back cover plus interior panels:

R.I.P., Bix

Inside-left panel

Photo of vintage "OKeh" label Bix record album

inside-right panel

And, last but by no means least the back cover:

List of tracks

Bix drank more than his share of gin, though probably not of this quality, admittedly…

I am tooting my own horn, here, yes, but I believe this did turn out rather well. My friend claimed that he did not even realize, at first, that this was handmade rather than purchased. All in all, I call this one a “win,” and it was great fun to put together as well; both the style and the medium are outside the range of my typical work. Unless one counts book covers, I’ve hardly ever gotten to do any package design in my career, and CD-case design (which was still the cool project of our dreams back when I was in college) seems like it has passed me by, as a result of technological change. At least I’ll always have this.

Meanwhile, in case anyone is interested, you can download a print-resolution PDF here, and as I recall the music all came from public domain sources, primarily the Internet Archive.

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