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Nils Frahm Record Design

Who is Nils Frahm?

Nils Frahm is a German musician, composer, and record producer based in Berlin. He is notorious for blending classical and electronic music by creating an unconventional approach to the piano. He executes his sound by mixing grand pianos, upright pianos, Roland synthesizers, drum machines, and various Moog pads to produce his infamous ambient and expansive sound.

The Goal

This graphic design assignmet consisted of creating two vinyl record cover designs for Nils Frahm’s most recent album, Spaces. Throughout the design process, we were instructed to listen to the album thoroughly in order to develop a design that conveys its sounds visually. 

While listening to Spaces, I noticed that the album conveyed an incredibly ambient and atmopsheric tone that left me in a deep trance. Each track resonated as if Frahm’s hands were pulling rigid machine-based structures into a lighter, airier place. I immediately found the inspiration to create a fantasy-like design that accented the way the listeners would appreciate the music. 

 

The Process

Our professor surprised us by instructing the class to take an unusual approach to designing these record covers by using paper collages. Unlike the traditional vector-based Illustrator constuction, each record cover was created by cutting, gluing, and taping various images from scattered magazines and newspapers to create these unconventional, abstract designs. 

The top cover represents the fantasy, dream-like trance that the album conveyed. I decided to mold together a woman experiencing a euphoric transcendence into an alternate reality. 

The bottom cover focuses more on Nils Frahm as a technically advanced pianist. Throughout the album, one will hear multiple chords and notes being played, as if Frahm possess several hands striking the piano.