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Designing ‘By Degrees’ for Sankara

By on August 12th, 2020

A Few years back, local band Sankara contacted me to ask if I was interested in designing a future album cover for them. After completing and maintaining their website for nearly a year and creating posters for them in the past, they liked my work and felt I could do the job.

They gave me some demos from the new album and the brief was open to what I thought the album was about and what feeling it portrayed.

After listening to the demos for a few days, I began playing around in Photoshop with some initial ideas. A few days of experimenting with concepts, I ended up with having between 15-20 different designs. Some were stronger than others, but I felt that if I sent the band more of my initial ideas then they can pick a few that they like and I would then have a direction that the band sees the album progresses.

They got back to me with 3 of what they felt were the strongest and so I began to tweak and change certain aspects around those designs. The band also supplied me with templates from XpressCDs (http://www.xpresscds.co.uk/) who were printing the album. The template was a 4 Panel Digi Pack with a two-page booklet.

Having mixed a lot of online stock textures and photographs (these of which, I didn’t have permission to use) I began to see if I could photograph my own. Looking for rough paper or stone textures I looked all around my hometown, with nothing that really stood out. I finally found the textures that I was looking for, believe it or not, on holiday in Cornwall. A beach that had dried cracked mud near the cliffs and plenty of cracked rocks to choose from. I photographed them all, knowing that these textures would be perfect.

Designing 'By Degrees' Sankara Album Cover

The mud texture is used throughout the album cover. It can be seen more prominently on the inside front with the band’s photograph over layered and on the actual CD itself.

This texture was also used for the poster and flyer to promote Sankara’s future tour days.

The cracked rock texture was only used on the front cover, with other textures, such as paper, a rough edging that that runs throughout the album I also created in Photoshop.

The textures here I have purposely left my watermark off so other people can use them if they wish. All I ask is a credit (texture by www.mrosser.co.uk) if you use these textures.

Designing 'By Degrees' Sankara Album Cover

Designing 'By Degrees' Sankara Album Cover

The compass on the front cover I created in Photoshop and added shadow, bevel & emboss to create a raised look.

Overall, this album cover was designed from concept to final product in about 6 weeks.

I enjoyed the whole process and feel that the final product works. It gives a feeling of what the album is about and is very distinctive. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to create such an album cover for a local band. This is one of the works that I feel very proud of this creation. I hope everyone else like’s it!


Designing 'By Degrees' Sankara Album Cover


Designing 'By Degrees' Sankara Album Cover



Designed to promote the Guided by Degrees Album and recent tour dates

Designing 'By Degrees' Sankara Album Cover

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