The CD sleeve with no CD inside
Yui Takada, from INKAREN member Allright Inc., decided to work on Artist no.9’s CD sleeve, so he requested Shinohara Shiko Ltd. to create it.
Although the CD sleeve was made of paper, there was no CD inside. When you opened it, there was a QR code, and this was a new style where you can download the music through accessing the QR code. Selling music is selling something that is not physical, so the CD sleeve has a value. Based on this concept of no.9’s Takayuki Jo, the discussion for the creation began. The title of the album was “Switch of Life.” Takada and Jo showed us rough sketches between them. It was a design of an actual switch inside a hardcover. Trying to implement this idea seemed honestly difficult for Shinohara to actualize the design no matter how much money we cut in terms of the budget. To hear more about Takada’s ideas and visions, we had some parfait at a café in Iwamotocho. I asked, “What is something you cannot compromise in this CD sleeve?” He said, “Well…I guess the (sleeve’s) thickness.” He wanted it to be distinctive as a physical object, so he wanted to make it thick.
What do you want to express the most?
Considering the budget, it was impossible to put in a real switch, so we decided to express it with a graphic instead. We made an estimate with this, and were about to get the project going, but Takada stopped us suddenly. “Hey, why was it so important to have a switch in this CD sleeve anyway?” Although the album title made us committed to having a switch, wasn’t the whole point originally that we are selling music CD that is not physical so we should make the CD sleeve stand out as an object? Isn’t what we wanted to tell: the fact that there is no physical CD where it’s supposed to be, which represents the current state of the music industry where the notions up to now are almost crumbling? Although we were so committed to switches up to this point, this idea was abandoned midway.
The worldview of the designer, Yui Takada
Although Shinohara works with many designers, Takada is a unique designer. In the initial stage, he explores concepts very deeply, but when new thoughts or questions arise, he switches his mind very quickly. As he knows very well about the print binding in practice, in stages when we are still deciding whether something is feasible from a technical perspective, he counters, “You can’t do this? Then, how about this?” Being committed to something seems like an important thing for a designer, but for Takada, it seems that he can change his ideas flexibly if we kept fundamental parts that were important to him. Then, even things that many members decided together in a meeting can be changed completely by a single thing that Takada says. Still, however, people around him were naturally convinced and were fine to go with such changes. He is a designer who could get people involved in his worldview naturally.
In this project, there was no need for Shinohara to make any proposal. We deciphered Takada’s design concepts, visuals that he thought of, and his abstract words one by one. We then worked together to make the concepts three-dimensional. Takada never intervened with any of the binding technology, so Shinohara could focus on creation while being immersed in the world of Takada. Also, although it was a tight schedule, all the members fulfilled their roles and exercised their skills fully, so we were pleased with this project.
＊INKAREN（http://www.inkaren.com/）music video is by the artist, no.9.
Switch of LIFEのジャケット制作にあたって by no.9
重量感のある紙を使った約3センチもの分厚い「Switch of LIFE」という作品パッケージ。