I’m a member of the Dictionary MixTape Society. We exchange mixtapes (yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Tapes are outdated. You’re right. Really, they’re cd’s these days, but “mix cd” just doesn’t have the same ring to it) annually based on a theme designed by our fearless leader, Levi “Bubba” Greenacres. This year’s theme: Endtimes Edition … or … music for the fallout shelter.
Remember the old days, when you had to simultaneously press Play and the button next to it to start recording? Yeah, I’ve been making mixtapes since then. I, along with other random pockets of obsessive music sharers, have been honing our skills, escalating the making of mixtapes to a full blown art form. It’s not just about sharing the music. It’s about the challenge of theme, what story you want to tell with that theme, the transition of each song into the next; it’s about telling the story of your own emotional journey through a series of notes that your unknown listener will hopefully understand.
And for me, in more recent years, it’s been about the packaging…
At first, I just wanted to make the covers more interesting. I started collaging photos together, scanning old postcards, swiping images off the internet. It went from cover art and inserts to embellishments and cd holders. Sometimes I made custom boxes or cd cozies.
And now here it was. The Endtimes Edition! This was music for the fallout shelter. This would be the mother of all mixtape projects.
I started brainstorming the artwork that would go in the case. Now I’m not an artist of the drawing type, so I rely heavily on images that I can borrow from the internet. Concentrating my search on gas masks, I found the most amazing World War II photos.
Some of these were incorporated into the packaging, both on the cd insert, glued to the back of the case, and pasted to the outer shipping package.
As for the larger packaging picture, this year’s DMTS theme produced endless possibilities in my head. Endtimes? Fallout shelters?? A cd and a pair of headphones is not enough! There is so much more that a person living in a fallout shelter requires! My brain reeled.
The obvious answer was a pillow. The person needed a pillow so they could lay back and enjoy their cd. With the end of the world in mind, I began designing a cross stitch that would become the cd pocket and searching for fallout appropriate fabric.
I’m so thrilled with how this turned out on a whole, from the actual playlist to the insert art, but especially the pillow and cross stitch design. I love it! I sent one to my assigned mixtape recipient and one to Levi as our mixtape host. Hope they love them as much as I do!