In 2015 I started a project which had me designing jackets and other artwork for 7″ records that had none. In my collection was the Dio/Killswitch Engage “Holy Diver” single from the Side By Side series. This was released for Record Store Day 2013 on “oxblood red” vinyl and it was limited to 2,800 pressings. If you know anything about Classic Rock/Heavy Metal then you already know about “Holy Diver” and all of the unholy awesomeness that it holds. Killswitch Engage covered the song in 2006, originally appearing on a Kerrang! compilation album but it was also later released on the special edition of KsE’s 2006 album As Daylight Dies. The original is amazing, the cover is good in its own right but the artwork for this release was severely lacking. That’s where I came in.
I really wanted to do some cool artwork for this release but for the longest time I was totally stumped on what to create. I had visions of a modern re-imagining of the iconic cover image but it just wasn’t ever good enough when I put the ideas to the computer. In the end I decided it was best not to mess with what is already great and a super detailed die cut was settled upon. In all reality this was the best decision I could have made. It stands out from the rest of my project, looks amazing and adds a level of bitchin’ looks that was missing from the release. The only real decisions I had to make was how to treat the tracklisting, liner notes and logos. I decided on a small flap on the back side so that I wouldn’t take away from the die cut image and also because it just doesn’t require anything larger. Keep it simple, stupid. The only design I really had trouble coming up with for this part was the 45RPM graphic. I went with a design that gives a nod back to the 80s roots of the song with a modern treatment.
Out of the all of the records in the “7” Series” project that I completed, this is one of my favorites. Using the die cut technique and not doing anything to detract from that main image really works. Sometimes a designer doesn’t need to make any cool graphics, they just need to come up with a good solution. This was one of those times.