'Mask' Album Artwork

CD cover for EP album "The Daily Preacher" by Cabaret Rat

Brief supplied: provide a bold image to describe the internalised anger and intolerance which can be hidden behind a bland Middle England facade.

This is an image I felt worked particularly well. The concept of the design was to show the repressed rage, internalised bitterness and illogical intolerance which can sometimes lurk behind the most bland façade. In the case of the "Daily Preacher" song in question, the singer’s target was certain sections of the tabloid press which claim to reflect Middle Class, Middle England, but which often express deeply reactionary and inflammatory views.

Stylistically, we decided on a very stark, almost monochrome image that referenced the clean line work of early 1980s 2000AD comic strips, particularly the graphic novel illustration of Brian Bolland. The commissioner was a dedicated fan of the comic, with a Judge Dredd tattoo on his arm, and so this style chimed with him. Due to the limitations of printing a comic in the early '80s, before full colour work in a weekly magazine was economically viable, strong use of shadows and highlights were prevalent and suited the subject matter of the image. As an avid comic book reader in my youth, when Bolland worked on a story, you knew that the limitations of single colour printing would actually become positives, as he managed to inject an incredible amount of cinematic depth into his panels. He was also a master of mixing accurate draftsmanship with more traditional comic book styling without ever falling prey to the 'cartoonishness' that can dog the genre. It was a pleasure to reference his style on this album artwork.