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Meganeura – Cold Sun

In December 2023, I had a friend reach out to me about designing a logo and album cover for the debut solo album of their instrumental metal project Meganeura. They didn’t have a lot of direction as to what exactly they wanted it to look like, but they had a few pictures on their camera roll and just wanted to see what I could come up with if we sat down together and started experimenting. The two photos we started with were of a jellyfish from the Monterrey aquarium, and a picture taken when driving down the road in Iceland (Pictures 1 and 2). 

We spent some time playing with the jellyfish picture, warping it and adjusting the hues to create a psychedelic look as well as distorting it and setting it to black and white for a more unsettling, strange aesthetic (Pictures 3, 4, and 5) but eventually they decided against using the jellyfish and we switched focus to the road. The main changes they were seeking out were adjusting the color temperature and trying to emphasize a sense of motion, going for a sort of grungy, simple aesthetic. I directionally blurred the two sides of the road, added some grunge texture over top, and emphasized some faint purples and yellows in the color photo (Picture 6) to achieve the desired result.

The last part of the process was creating the logo. Meganeura is the latin word for dragonfly, so my friend had been sketching some concepts that tied together a dragonfly shape with the letter M. I recreated these in illustrator and started to refine it (Picture 7), ultimately going in a very simple direction with the main M, a stinger-like tail in the middle, and wing-like lines expanding out to the side. To go with the grungy / metal aesthetic, I roughened up the stroke and added some slight tapering to the ends of the lines to make them look a bit more hand-drawn, resulting in the final logo (Pictures 8 and 9). In the spirit of keeping things subdued, I put the logo in the top corner of the cover and made it semitransparent, so it was distinct but not stealing all the focus (Picture 10). 

I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to work on an album cover, as music merch designs were a big part of what got me interested in graphic design in the first place. To see more of my work, including more music-inspired projects, visit my Instagram through the button below!