The Pennsylvania artwork design process

Design idea by John Thompson, first draft.

10/27/97: This design depends on printing in non-CYMK colors. The added costs are prohibitive.

Songs will not be individually indexed. Why should the listener be able to access individual songs in a "random" sequence? We spend alot of time putting the songs in a specific running order. If the listener is so smart that they think that they can do better then let them get their own stinking band. Options are:

  • Two indexes: Side 1 and Side 2. Individual songs can be accessed via the old vinyl hit/skip method using FF or REW.
  • All songs are 3:22 long, i.e. indexes are placed every 3:22 regardless of "actual" song length.
  • Indexes are placed 30 seconds ahead of the song start.

We can hide tracks on the album by placing them at the end of the sequence after 5-10 minutes of silence. We should consider cutting down the length of the visible sequence. Though people will say they want long albums they actually grow resentful and fretful without understanding why once the playing time creeps above 45 minutes.

11/14/97: I really like the Pennsyl-tucky aspect ALOT. A whole lot. The crude lettering, all of it. Really anti-goodlooking album art. ANTI-Everything. At first glance I think that pennsylvania can stay where it is and pere ubu can go inside the arrow. I don't like the symmetry of the text separation. Unbalanced might look better. Something motto-like can go across the top to confuse what is and what isn't the title of the album. What was the original text on the sign?[pafrnt.jpg]

12/11/97: After a tiresome episode trying to sort out a stereo separation issue with my home stereo amp I've decided to nix the limited indexing idea. Johnny had a similar nightmare episode in Carolina with a car cd player that had no FF or REW buttons. The notion of randomized indexing is still valid but will have to wait-- there's no time to make the adjustment to the master and still meet the 12/16 deadline at CV.
[digipak layout]
Digipak design, 1st draft. John Thompson.

Excerpts from an email from the pseudo-Persians concerning the index issue...

>Surely you don't object to people playing (or repeating) individual songs?
Absolutely. It's our art so it's our way or the highway. You're so smart get your own stoopid band. It's the same as saying "I really like that song FILL IN THE BLANK." My reaction is never pleasure at the compliment. No, instead the whole episode is an annoyance. I think, "Well, what's wrong with the others? Why don't you like them?"
>Rewind/fastforward is a pain in the neck compared to an indexed CD. (A CD
>is much more like a tape than vinyl in the way one interacts with it - you
>can stand over a record player and drop the needle where it looks like
>you'll want it, but w/a CD? Hah!)
Good point.
>"All songs are 3:22 long, i.e. indexes are placed every 3:22 regardless of
>"actual" song length."
>Why? Just to torture those who do use their randomizer?
Absolutely. And why not? Actually there's an art reason: cut & paste. Also look at the number. Always look at the number.