Saturday Nite Special – Album Cover

Making marks to music

During a university project, I had to create an album cover for Saturday Nite Special By the Sundown Playboys. I had to come up with a series of marks that matched the music.

For this, I decided that ink would be the preferable medium early on as I felt it mimicked the looseness I wanted. I looked into different versions of ink rolling, using motion and air to move the ink but thought it wouldn’t spread as uncontrolled as I would ideally want.


During my research phase, I found an artist who used an abstract ink approach, an artist by the name of Alfred Krupa. The freeness and use of white space was something I hoped to replicate within my process even though I wasn’t concentrating on a subject matter as he does in his work.

My Process

To achieve this, I decided to use a stress ball covered in ink, throwing it to the beat while not particularly controlling the ball and then proceeding to roll the excess ink to the sounds of the stringed instruments to match the peaks and dips of the melody.

I also added in black as a stark contrast to show the separation between instruments; however, I felt it didn’t quite fit the sound it was portraying. The black ink rolling was also too controlled in the instances below.

For what would become the base for the final piece I used an a1 piece of paper to create the piece so that I could use a frame to pick which parts would suit the 20cm x 20cm album cover. I kept with the red tones for the richness in the music. I let the base set of ink dry first before rolling over the second layer so that the colour overlaying would deepen, which would show some separation between the sections.

Piece of a1 paper with ink rolling patterns.

Final Piece

I took the section that I had chosen into photoshop and illustrator to clean it up, add the title and the artist. I played with multiple versions of the cover by inverting the piece.