Swansea by Lemolo

Lemolo is a beloved Seattle-based dream pop band lead by Meagan Grandall. The band had two successful full length albums under their belt and were working on their third, "Swansea." In Meagan's words, " I wrote this record about various experiences I’ve had with loss – the loss of love, the ending of relationships, and the death of a friend. Swansea is my concept of a place – the place where we go when we lose someone. In the Swansea, we find ourselves faced with our own solitude and loneliness, but we also find strength in remembering how to stand on our own two feet."

Lemolo’s third album, “Swansea,” needed a comprehensive branding package, inclusive of graphic design, packaging, promotional materials, photography, and creative direction. The artist needed a strong visual aesthetic to enhance the impact of the album’s release.

SERVICES

BRAND IDENTITY

GRAPHIC DESIGN

PACKAGING

PHOTOGRAPHY

Building a brand identity to capture a story

In creating the brand identity and album artwork for Lemolo's "Swansea," a cohesive and emotive design aesthetic was brought to life. This vision merged a melancholic undertone with a classic appeal, reflecting the nuanced emotionality embedded within the album. There was a particular focus on water-based themes that we wanted to bring out in the albums photography, graphics and overall identity. The visual style juxtaposed the somber lyricism with vibrant colors, made prominent through contrast in wardrobe and poses. These bright hues not only reflected Megan's love for color but also served as unifying threads, creating a harmonious and visually impactful narrative for this profoundly personal album.

STYLE BOARD

MEAGAN WITH ALBUM, BY LEMOLO

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the stormy Pacific coast, our album cover shoot came alive as a vivid landscape of color and contrast. Soft, washed-out water from the sea extended from the front to the back cover, subtly elevating beneath the album title. This unity of imagery created a seamless narrative akin to the rhythmic ebb and flow of the sea.

The lead singer, standing out in a sequin dress, contrasted starkly against the vibrant environment, her introspective gaze and somber pose echoing the album's rich emotional layers. The gentle waves in her hair, formed by the coastal wind, directed the viewer's gaze, creating a cinematic effect that stoked curiosity about the album's narrative. This vivid and unforgettable visual narrative was thoughtfully crafted to make a bold statement, both physically and digitally.

As an artist who appreciates the vibrancy of color and the balance of moods, Meagan sought to blend elements of hope and joy within the visual narrative of the album. The music was intended to envelop the listener with a subtlety, akin to the ebb and flow of the sea, delivering introspective lyrics embedded in storytelling meant for personal reflection.

This contemplative tone guided us toward a an understated approach in the visual design. A classic serif typeface in a vibrant yellow was chosen, which created a striking contrast against the blues, while still being harmonious. The type was set in bold capital letters to catch the eye, yet it was designed to breathe rather than shout, subtly ensuring its presence was felt, much like the songs themselves. For the body text, a clean sans serif typeface was used, creating a timeless combination. This carefully selected typography, much like the album's music, gracefully balanced boldness and subtlety, creating an aesthetic that was as emotionally evocative as it was visually appealing.

Laying out the artwork: vinyl

We wanted the album to move seamlessly from front to back with a continuation of the soft, washed out water in the background then rising up under the title of the album on the back with it's slight seaspray for emphasis. The gentle curves of the wave also minim the waves created in her hair from the wind that day, moving in the direction of her gaze even though her face is obscured. The bright colors and sequins in the dress feel juxtaposed against the somber pose and introspective gaze - something the perfectly frames the songs on the album within.

Vinyl Album Labels

An interesting thing about the process was how the labels themselves are adhered to the vinyl record. The labels are literally baked onto the vinyl so this was something we needed to take into consideration when designing them so that the baked aspect actually looked intentional rather than like an overcooked color. For that reason, we made the print files a little extra light and bright so that the baked-in color would be deeper and help mute the color to where we really wanted it to be. And it worked perfectly - the final labels looked perfectly well done.

Laying out the artwork: CD

We wanted the album to move seamlessly from front to back with a continuation of the soft, washed out water in the background then rising up under the title of the album on the back with it's slight seaspray for emphasis. The gentle curves of the wave also minim the waves created in her hair from the wind that day, moving in the direction of her gaze even though her face is obscured. The bright colors and sequins in the dress feel juxtaposed against the somber pose and introspective gaze - something the perfectly frames the songs on the album within.

CD LABELS

An interesting thing about the process was how the labels themselves are adhered to the vinyl record. The labels are literally baked onto the vinyl so this was something we needed to take into consideration when designing them so that the baked aspect actually looked intentional rather than like an overcooked color. For that reason, we made the print files a little extra light and bright so that the baked-in color would be deeper and help mute the color to where we really wanted it to be. And it worked perfectly - the final labels looked perfectly well done.

ADDING A PERSONAL TOUCH: CREATING UNIQUE MINI PRINT THANK YOU CARDS

Purchasing an album from an independent artist is a significant show of support, directly fueling their ability to share their music globally. Understanding this, Meagan wanted to extend her appreciation by adding a personal touch to each album sent. Thus, we created unique mini prints featuring artwork from Seattle-based artist Ariel Scholten, beautifully showcased within the album cover. Each of these prints carries a heartfelt handwritten thank-you message from Meagan on the back, making every album a special keepsake.

PHOTOGRAPHY - STUDIO RECORDING SESSIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY - LOCATION / ALBUM COVER SESSION

swansea INTERLUDE VIDEO: CREATIVE DIRECTION

The video for “Interlude” is a story of Meagan performing the song in the studio, and while she's singing she is having flashbacks to the moments the song was written about where the lyrics say, “I was stuck in the swell”...”I was out in the sea.” It cuts back and forth between performance shots, and flashback shots.

Video by Alize Jireh with Creative Direction by Lisa S. Town

Written by Meagan Grandall | Produced by Nathan Yaccino