July 6th, 2006


Saga of a sleeve

February 20th: Client approaches designer. "I'm sort of nearing completion of my 2006 album, which is to be called Ocky Milk. I would expect the release date to be August-ish. I've decided to go for continuity with the last two records, so I've enlisted John Talaga again to do sound processing, gone for a quirky title starting with an O, and envision a sleeve with a black basis but colour within it. I have a couple of ideas of how it could look. One is a black background with virtually the whole front cover taken up with the words MOMUS OCKY MILK in Milton Glaser's 1968 font Baby Teeth. The only available commercial version of this now is a copy called Bebit. The letters in Baby Teeth would "cut holes" in the black ground and drop away to either pure blocks of colour or to pictures of various things. Not sure what yet. But you get the idea: the fat blocky letters of Baby Teeth become holes in a black mask, which cut away (Bruno Munari style)..."

February 21st: Designer agrees to commission, suggests expensive diecutting technique. Client replies: "I can totally see the logic of diecutting, that's sort of inherent in the idea, but having struggled with my labels even for permission to use a digipak rather than a jewelbox, and having heard the famous story of Peter Saville's diecut "Blue Monday" sleeve costing the label (and the band) more money with every copy sold, I think the answer is "Can we do trompe l'oeuil diecut instead of the real thing?" I meant to mention a children's book by Bruno Munari (I think) which uses diecut holes beautifully. It would be great if the spirit of Munari could be there without the horrendous expense of diecutting. And also, of course, my idea is already suffused, I think, with "the spirit of Goggin"!"

March 3rd: Record sent to designer.

March 22nd: Client announces designer's involvement to world. A fee is agreed, and a deadline for finished artwork: the end of April.

April 5th: Designer suggests recreating Munari photo with Kajsa of Åbäke standing in for the little girl in the Munari photo. Thumbs up from client!

April 11th: Client sends all text and sleeve information to designer.

May 24th: Worried that sleeve photo shoot hasn't happened, client requests label to pay designer. Label asks for invoice.

June 4th: Designer trying to organize shoot with Kajsa.

June 22nd: Shoot with Kajsa finally happens, co-incidentally when client happens to be visiting London and can actually attend in person. He witnesses at first hand the constant distractions designer is suffering.

June 23rd: Client blogs about the shoot, admiringly dubbing designer's style "benign sobriety".

July 6th: Client blogs again about the shoot and the genesis of this sleeve, from February to July.

Date unknown: Designer sends completed artwork to labels.

Date unknown: Ocky Milk by Momus is released.