Saturday, 22 February 2014


The secret 7” design competition is an annually held event that allows creatives to create a design for a special, one-off vinyl sleeve. Participants have a selection of musicians and bands to choose from, all of which usually span a variety of music genres and ages. A selection of winners are selected for each musician with the sleeves being printed and displayed in an exhibition in London.

The Secret 7” design competition is appealing to me as a designer for multiple reasons, the first being the success I had when entering the competition last year. Not only was my design selected as part of the exhibition, but it was also featured in the Guardian newspaper and on the Design Week website. The successful entry last year definitely influenced my choice when looking for briefs to complete as part of the responsive module as I was hopeful to repeat the previous year’s success. Another reason the brief was selected is because of its relevance to my design practice, the competition present participants with the opportunity to create a response in any style they choose, this creates room for further experimentation and will help to develop my illustration based skill set. 

I chose to create a design for Elbow’s song ‘Grounds for Divorce’ which I perceived to be about using alcohol as a way to escape from problems. To communicate this aspect of the song I chose to create an illustration depicting a first-hand view of a typical pub scene in dark, gloomy colours. Contrasting the dull nature of the image is the brightly coloured pint glass representing the themes portrayed by the song.

During the process of creating my response I encountered no major problems and managed to complete the brief within a days’ time. Unfortunately, this years entry was not selected as one of the winners which taught me that you cannot always consistently repeat success.  An aspect of the outcome that I would improve lies with how the pint was coloured, instead of rendering it with free flowing colours I would illustrate the colour in horizontal layers.

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