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Judged by the Cover - Minorville Ep.1

Listen to the audio - Judged by the Cover - Minorville Ep.1


Welcome to the first episode of the Judged by the cover podcast. Today we are talking about the album cover that started this thing I call JW Creates. Now this isn’t a cover that I created, but it was the cover that made me want to pursue designing album covers.

Let’s begin. I mentioned that this is the album cover that started JW Creates….because when I saw the behind the scenes video of how the designer made the cover my mind literally exploded. It was my lightbulb turning on moment and I knew this was something I want to do. I knew that what I wanted to make album covers, and not just make them because they’re cool, but I wanted to tell a story about a song or an album through great design. I will almost guarantee that you have never seen this album cover, or heard of this album, but The album title is Minorville, by Derek Minor. Derek minor, Minorville….you see the play on the artist name…? It will make sense in a minute for those of you that are listening to the audio only form of this podcast, because I’m going to break down the design and try to explain what the album cover looks like.


The album cover is a grayscale, or gray in color. The main portion of the cover is a side profile of the artist face, so you have a mans face, and it’s made out of these wood building cutouts, that look like a cityscape. That’s the main element of the cover, but you also have in the top left hand corner the artist name and the album name in a simple white font. So from a design aspect, there’s not a lot of details to discuss…and you may be thinking that this is kool, but not all that exciting why did this turn you on to making album covers…? So let’s talk about my favorite part….the behind the scenes video. Before the albums release in 2013, the artist and label did a lot of promotion and hype for this album. This was the fourth studio album for Derek minor, and he was also going through a name change from Pro to Derek Minor at the time, so I think it was necessary to really promote the heck out of this album. One of these promotional videos showed the behind the scenes making of the album cover.

The album was made by a designer that goes by the name Invisible Creature. This guy has been making album covers since 2000, and has done album covers for the Foo Fighters, Lecrae, Young the Giant, and Alice In Chains, to name a few….so not some no name designer. What I loved so much about this video, was seeing the process behind the making of this album cover. It starts with the designer doing a layout for the buildings, and then shows clips of another guy who I think Is the designers uncle cutting out blocks of wood, and shaping them into these different buildings. If you can see the cover you will see the different shapes and sizes, like a real city scape. They even went as far as cutting lines and shaping the woodblocks in a way that shows some architectural features.

From there they go into what looks like an attic, where they have to put together this city scape. So you see them lining up all the pieces, make sure the spacing is all correct. Once the cityscape is assembled, they start playing with the light, moving it around to get the right shadows. Then they do the same thing using fog to get just the right feel. So for this rather simple “design”….There was a TON of work that went into it… and really what they did was create “MINORVILLE”.

Seeing this hands on process was the Lightbulb moment. The holy crap, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO…..I want to tell the story of an album or a song through great design. So there you have it, this is the album cover that launched JW Creates in my mind and heart, and to this day looking at this album cover makes me excited about what I get to do….which is tell other peoples stories, through design

So what do you think of this album cover for Minorville…?

Let me know in the comments below or share your thoughts with me at

That’s it for this episode, thanks for checking out the post, you can also listen to this Podcast on your favorite podcast apps. Also make sure you hit those like and subscribe buttons, and share this with at least one friend who likes music or great design.


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