Translate lyrics and imagery into a visual system for an album redesign.
The Flatbush Zombies released their second mixtape titled, Better Off Dead, in 2013. This mixtape was met with critical acclaim and the group gained lots of attention from their singles, "Palm Trees," and "222". In this mixtape, the Zombies get spiritual, political, and gory. My goal with my redesign was to create a scene that captures the energy and intensity of the messages written within the songs.
While I don’t necessarily think this cover art is unsuccessful, I think it definitely does not portray the messages that are found within the lyrics. The Flatbush Zombies are an independent group and this mixtape was released very early in their career as a group, so I do take into account that they may have not had the funds for a better branding system.
This photo that was used for the cover art was taken in a graveyard, alluding to their overall theme of “death,” however the messages in the songs are referring to a spiritual death and that is the direction I chose for my rebranding.
I listened to the album from start to finish and recorded the lyrics that stood out to me and took notes of reoccurring themes throughout the album.
I looked back at past album artwork of the Flatbush Zombies as well as other psychedelic imagery.
For the front cover, I created a collage that hinted to the messages and imagery from the lyrics in the songs. For example, I incorporated a texture from The Matrix, because they are often referring to the movie and this idea of plugging in and out of reality. I also incorporate the imagery of an eyeball because the Zombies are very spiritual and often speak of their psychedelic drug use, which is known to cause an ego death.
When designing the back cover, I want to make it more subtle to contrast from the front. I used the same color palette and incorporated the coding texture but focused on the typography. I chose to align the text to the center because it alludes to the type setting on gravestones and to the dark and eery messages throughout the mixtape.