Starry Night (Album Package Design / “Going Down Slow” by Kevin Dean)


  • Hannah Steffes MacEwan University


The music and a conversation with jazz musician Kevin Dean inspired the overall concept for the “Going Down Slow” album. Staring up at a beautiful night sky filled with bright stars evokes feelings of relaxation, calm, and peaceful reflection. A person even when alone can feel connected in time and space to others who may be also staring up at the same night sky and wondering about one’s place in the universe, the meaning of life, future pursuits, and past experiences. Often associated with wonder and imagination, stars inspire viewers to have hope for the future and grow from their past mistakes. The clusters of stars creating streaming rays of light across the night sky emphasize various pathways a person may take to achieve one’s dreams on life’s journey.   The image of the night sky appears on the album cover, the insert, centre labels, and the drop card. Dark blue borders alternate with a night sky border to frame the image and focus the viewer’s attention on information given within the borders. The dark blue and black colours evoke a sense of mystery and calm. The contrasting white and light blue star clusters direct the viewer’s eye across the night sky to find yet another point of interest to encourage the observer to continue on a journey of self-reflection while listening to various songs on the album.   To create the night sky image, a variety of light and dark coloured wax crayons were melted with an iron on wax paper to get a paper-thin consistency. Streaks and tiny holes naturally appeared in the design. A photograph of the crayon art piece being held up to a bright light added the necessary illumination to create small stars against a night sky. The image was then digitally manipulated to soften the lines and make it appear more realistic. Serif and sans serif typefaces conveyed the information in a comfortable and easily readable way to viewers. Bolding and spacing helped to create clean visual lines and reflect a clear hierarchy.  With the fairly cohesive starry night sky image (with slight border variations) appearing on all of the album components, the music album takes its listener on an uninterrupted relaxing and reflective journey. In a busy and complicated world, it is often difficult for a person to make the time to simply stand still, breathe, and become self-aware. Gazing up at the starry night sky, listening to music, and thinking of endless possibilities would be a wonderful way to end any day.

Department: Design Studies 

Faculty Mentor: Constanza Pacher