during the course of an average workday i see a lot of dvd cover art. usually, at this point in this recurring feature we heap derision upon the lame, tired and utterly safe art/design that graces the covers of about 95 percent of the dvds that are manufactured. the wretched sameness that permeates the industry is of epidemic proportions. all the more reason we should celebrate the handful of people that slip those surly bonds. today we take a blessed detour from the usual.
eric skillman is a graphic designer, illustrator, comic artist and art director who does a great deal of work for the criterion collection and i think what he does is first rate. here are a few samples of some of his finished covers, alternate takes and accompanying art.
clearly, this stuff is head and shoulders above what you see lining the shelves of your average rental chain. his design work alone is reason for us to celebrate him but he goes that one better. he writes a great blog called cozy lummox in which he offers a great deal of background and insight into the entire design process. you'll get to see alternate versions, the evolution of the design, some scrapped bad ideas. it's a treasure trove for folks who geek out equally over film and graphic design. i recommend you read it regularly, but if you just want to start by checking out what goes into making some of these covers here are some direct links to some particular favorites of mine.
the spy who came in from the cold (1965)
blast of silence (1961)
berlin alexanderplatz (1980)
clean, shaven (1993)
an angel at my table (1990)
it's nice to know he's out there, fighting the good fight. better still, he lets us in on how it works. let this provide you consolation in your hour of darkness, starring ashley judd and morgan freeman.