Not quite sure what it is about the holiday season, but it makes me want to go to the movies! As well as eat amazing food until I'm sick and spend time with my family. It's such a great season of love and all things good. I just love it.

But what I really love....Movies! Here are three that I am really looking forward to!

The Road | Written by Cormac McCarthy | Adapted by Joe Penhall | Directed by John Hillcoat

This is one of the most phenomenal books I've ever read. The classic human tragedy that will tear your heart out but won't let you stop reading. I sure hope the movie does justice to the book.

Watchmen | Written by Alan Moore & David Gib
bons | Adapted by Sam Hamm | Directed by Zack Snyder

The first time I saw this trailer, it freaked me out! I didn't want to see it. Since then, I've seen it five or so times and every time I see I, I want to see the movie more. It's compelling and intriguing. I don't know what the story line is, but the graphic work looks incredible! 

Australia | Written & Directed by Baz Lurman

I love epic movies such as these. Reminds me 
of Far and Away (also starring Nicole Kidman), a personal favorite. Cinematography looks divine, courtesy of Baz Lurman, who also directed Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge. He has an amazing eye for artful cinema.

Enjoy the show!


FAQ volume one for Tate Music Group Design

Occasionally I will get repeat questions here and there. We all get them, right? Just comes with the territory of knowing your trade. Instead of creating one big blog with all the questions I've ever gotten (because, quite frankly, there have not been many), I will post them individually as I get asked more often. 

The first question that I feel has come up on more than one occasion is: 

"What type of camera can I use?"

To be honest, this can be a little tricky. My first response, and request, to any artist is to visit a professional photographer, instead of trying to do them yourself. Like I mentioned in my previous post, they know how to make you look good!

But, what if you have a fairly decent camera of your own? Can you do it yourself? Possibly. 

All photos that we use for print must be at 300dpi or greater, and measure at least 4"x6". They can be submitted either in jpg, tiff or pdf format.

I would recommend using an digital SLR camera, such as Canon or Nikon. These high-end cameras have the ability to take photos that are large and clear. The more pixels, the better. I personally own a Canon Rebel XSi and I love it! I get crystal clear shots that I can manipulate without losing quality. The variety of settings lets me get photos in formats of whatever I need.

I also have a Canon PowerShot SD1000 that I carry around with me for quick shots of random things I see. Some cameras like these (nearly everyone has their own personal digital camera now) have the capability of taking higher resolution photos, but you would need to consult your owner's manual to review the settings in order to get the proper shot. Even still, a photo taken on one of these may not work for print for a variety of reasons.

And last but not least, I have my iPhone camera, which has surprisingly good quality considering it is primarily a phone. However, no photo from that camera could be used for print. The image size is much too small and the resolution much too low to print properly. But it sure is fun to use it! I recently found an app called CameraBag that can do some pretty awesome stuff to your simple photos taken on the iPhone. Take a look at some of my creations:
 My dogs, Chloe and Roxy using the the Lolo setting.

A bear at the St. Louis using the 1974 setting. 

My husband with our nephew using the Helga setting.

The iPhone camera is pretty great, but enough about that. We can't use those for print! 

Again, you can't go wrong with a professional, but if you have the means to take high quality photos yourself, try it out and see what you get. If you're unsure, you can send it to me, I will let you know if it's usable.

Speaking of professional, I've got to give props to my personal choice of photographer, Angel Porch of Art and Soul Photography. She is amazing and I love her work. Check her out here. She lives here in Oklahoma but she is available for travel anywhere!

Happy shooting!


Tate Music Group Design Process and Upcoming Releases

Long time, no blog! Wow, what a month! Finished up quite a few Tate Music Group albums this month and they'll be hitting the market in no time. I am so excited to see where they go. Congrats to you all! I had the pleasure of working with Willie Blake Davis on his upcoming album, Foundation Solid. He had some great photos taken beforehand, with his personal photographer, and they turned out great! Makes my job easy! Take a look at what we finalized, there on the right.

So what exactly HAPPENS in the design process, you ask?

It is a fun process! I love to hear artists' ideas for their artwork, and be able to incorporate them in the design. They know their art and it is my honor to to put a face to it. Here's what I do:

  1. I find out who's finished with recording and mastering process and I track down all the info I can on them so that I am fully prepared. 
  2. I send my initial email to each artist that I am working with for the month. I tell them what I do and what they can expect during the month. I also ask for any photos they may have (if they hadn't been sent previously) and for their lyrics and thank yous. I need all of this stuff before I can get started! Example: I compare it to baking: you wouldn't start mixing the ingredients without the milk or eggs! They are the staples, as are the photos and lyrics. Without them, we are at a standstill.
  3. After I get all the files I need, I listen to the music, to get the feel and audience appeal. Once I feel confident in the direction, I either (a.) look for images that would suit the music, or (b.) arrange the artist's photos in any intriguing, marketable way that is catching and suitable. 
  4. Once I get the imagery situated, I add the type. I play with a bunch of different variations in type to find the very best one(s), those that are legible, suitable and appealing.
  5. After that, I narrow down the cover options to the very best 3-5 designs, and I send those to the artist for their review. We decide on a cover before we complete the rest of the artwork.
  6. When they get back to me, we make a few tweaks here and there, until we get it exactly right. I like to hear their suggestions and enjoy it when I can incorporate them. Sometimes it doesn't always happen, but it's always great when it does. That's the Tate Publishing partnership at work!
  7. After they have approved a cover, I move on to designing the rest of the artwork: insert, intray and disc label. I love the creativity that can flow during this part. It's great to see the continuity that follows throughout the packaging.
  8. After all that is done, I send them to the artist for review. We tweak and edit if needed, and then they approve.
  9. And finally...OFF TO PRINT! 
Tate Music Group artists are encouraged to be apart of each step of the process, and to give feedback at every turn. We partner with you to create the album you've dreamed about for years. We want you to be completely satisfied with your product, and your experience in our business. For more info, visit our website. Our acquisitions staff are looking forward to hearing YOU!