Driftwood album artwork (2023)

For his third album, Steve Hunt returned to a consistent footing in the easy listening genre where he had started off in Eagle Mountain, in contrast to the more eclectic mix of styles in his sophomore volume Edge of Time.  But he still didn't fire that weird Colclough guy who'd been doing all his cover art.

My job was made simpler this time round as Steve chose to move to a digital-only release, so the only component needed was a front cover rather than a full set of CD packaging.

But that's not to say it was all plain sailing.  We had a very clear idea of how we wanted the cover to look, but it was surprisingly tricky to find just the right image of a piece of driftwood on a sandy beach without a lot of other clutter in the background.  I took a stab at creating an image from scratch in vector graphics, which didn't work out, and then I briefly considered trying to build something in 3D CGI, but that also proved prohibitive in the time available.  So then we started browsing stock photo libraries, and even that wasn't as straightforward as you might think - the bit of wood would be too simple in one photo, too big and twisted in another, and sometimes just half-buried in seaweed or something.

Eventually we found the right source photo and paid the fee to use it, and I set about reworking it to fit into the required square format and accommodate the text.  The results are... shall we say subtle.  If you didn't know what the original image looked like (for example, if you didn't know where there used to be a line of footprints in the sand), then I'd like to think you wouldn't be able to tell that I'd done any manipulation at all.  The careful deletion of the aforementioned footprints seems quite ironic given the title of the opening track - Footprints on the Shore - but it's what the client wanted.


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