The transition into the autumnal season is truly upon us in more ways than one, but one which segues nicely, for the purposes of this newsletter at any rate, is the fall of leaves and Biffy Clyro's latest release, 'Similarities'.  For this and more read on, dear reader, read on...

Biffy Clyro - Similarities

As with their album 'Lonely Revolutions', Biffy Clyro's 'Similarities' is a collection of songs as B-Sides to accompany singles taken from a 'larger' parent album, in this case 'Opposites'.

We had a brief brief from the record company: incorporate the tree (from Opposites), keep it simple and be quick. And by the way, the budget is small.
So of course we immediately started thinking of elaborate ways to reshoot the tree, but when reality finally settled in Peter had a thought (!!): he remembered how the number of horses on the cover of Lonely Revolutions represented each song on the album. Following this logic, or taking a leaf from our own book, so to speak, he thought, what could represent the songs on the album, and a tree. Being in the middle of the summer the answer was literally staring us in the face - from a tree overlooking the balcony overlooking chez StormStudios - leaves! Leaves being the smaller components that make up and grow out of a larger whole. But this time, rather than a leaf for each song we decided on one for each member of the band, three. The leaves themselves were gathered from the aforementioned tree at great risk by leaning out over the edge of ours (and an obliging neighbour's) balcony.

The whole design was topped off by repeating and mirroring the original tree image to create a somewhat psychedelic border. This effect itself was repeated to create a rather groovy pattern to cover the inside spread of the vinyl gatefold.

Korda Marshall - Yeah Yeah

If you've been paying attention you'll have noticed that our last two images for Korda Marshall were thematically linked, featuring a figure clad in a reflective spacesuit (or is it an earthsuit?) and matching mirror helmet. This is a journey that continues on their third single 'Yeah Yeah'. As usual we interrogated the band and they helpfully explained: "it's about being in a relationship where you can't breathe. The guy is really possessive of the girl and smothers her. She starts to see what life would be like without him and realises that the city (the world) is a big place."

So we decided that this time an urban setting could work well, and that shooting at twilight could be a good metaphor for the shift from one mental state to another, as suggested in the song. And so Dan made an evening cycle tour of his current home city, Berlin, armed with a camera and a silver Christmas bauble on a stick, taking test shots and looking, well, rather suspicious. Dan and Peter especially liked a shot taken in an underground passage at Alexanderplatz station, the way the spherical bauble reflected the geometric lines of the corridor worked surprisingly well, a satisfying contrast.

Unfortunately the suit was still in London, not Berlin, so Dan sent instructions for Rupert and Lee to head in the direction of London's Barbican, a notorious 60s modernist concrete labyrinth, accompanied by a waitress we know who agreed to be our model for the evening. Shooting on-the-hoof and in low light can be restrictive, especially when you're "in the wild" and at the mercy of passing lunatics, officials and curious old ladies, but this spontaneity yielded some great results. The shot we chose showed our reflectonaut emerging from an underpass, with the darkening city skyline mirrored very neatly at the centre of the globe. Not unlike a gigantic staring eyeball. Eye eye!

Lenticular Prints

We have of late been taking a foray into a new world, that of lenticulars. We are working with Coriander and Prof. Martin Richardson at De Montfort University, to create an eye-popping '3D' lenticular print. The print will be on show along with two 5 ft square 'Big Prints' as part of the Multiplied Art Fair (which runs concurrently with Frieze), hosted by Christies in the Brompton Road. Our first lenticular image is a rendering of the cover we made for Steve Miller's 'Bingo!', a rhyming showdown between a pair of articulate cowboys in an old west town. And talking of articulate, if you don't know what a lenticular is then look it up to fulfil your fact-a-day requirements! 

And finally...congratulations to Mark Wilkinson who won Prog Magazine's Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Award for his design for Fish's 'A Feast of Consequences' box set (for which he beat our own work for the Pink Floyd Division Bell deluxe set amongst others!)

Bon weekend, StormStudios

17th October