Above: Poster design for LOTL anniversary show at Massey Hall, Toronto. May 7, 2011. 3 Colour Screenprint, run of 200
Above: Gatefold design for 20th anniversary LP Edition of LOTL's "Shakespeare My Butt"
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Toronto indie band The Lowest of the Low's release of their breakthrough album "Shakespeare My Butt" . I was happy to partake in designing both the poster for their concert at Toronto's legendary Massey Hall (a variation was used for shows in Buffalo) and a brand new design for the gatefold of a new pressing of the album on vinyl. I've worked with LOTL guitarist Stephen Stanley at his day job as an Art Director/Designer at Brunico Communications (where my wife used to work) and he's always been super supportive of my illustrations. When the Massey Hall show was announced in the winter of this year, I proposed creating a poster and thankfully he and the rest of the band were really into the idea. Out of this they asked me to do the LP design which was a pretty great surprise and a bit of a daunting task (due mostly to my tendency to be anal). The original idea on my end was to tell a sequential story tied into the lyrics and themes of the songs on the album, which after a large amount of tweaking became a series of individual images that are connected but don't tell a direct story.
• The first panel contains references to the album title-via the Shakespeare character-and the songs "4 O'Clock Stop" (the watch), "So Long Bernie" (the shop in the background) and "Just About "The Only" Blues" (the man playing harmonica in the window)
• Panel two focuses on the song "Salesmen, Cheats and Liars" via the typical salesman caricature
• Panel three references the song "Rosy and Grey" (the name of the beer) and a line from "The Eternal Fatalist" ("You nearly drank up all of my beer"-hence the empty beer case)
• The fourth panel touches on the songs "For the Hand of Magdalena" (via the quote on the postcard) and "Letter from Bilbao" (via the postmark and address). My wife provided the handwriting since mine is very crude/illegible and hers has a nice femininity to it (obviously).
• Panel number five focuses on the song "Under the Carlaw Bridge", which has some of my favourite lyrics on the album and I felt deserved a stark panel all to itself
• The final panel ends on a lighter note referencing the songs "Gossip Talkin' Blues" (the birds chatting amongst themselves) and "Henry Needs a New Pair of Shoes" (the "King Henry" character stepping up to steal the shoes from the wire)
A big thank you is in order to Stephen, Ron, David and John for letting me be a part of this and for all the great feedback as this was put together.