The Crux

The Crux is an award-winning band from Sonoma County, CA. According to the North Bay Bohemian (a regional paper), they sound like “Doc Watson by way of Joe Strummer.” I designed this series of images for the band’s three-part album.


Crux Interpretum is a conceptual album that plays with the theme of obscured information and interpretation. I was asked to create three images for each of the staggered releases, the band wanted all the images to relate to each other. I wanted to create a puzzle with the typography to encript a message that would read both in each individual image, and also when the three images are viewed together.

For the background of each image, I created abstract patterns with contrasting color schemes and composed of different shapes. I rendered the patterns with a variety of materials, including watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, pastel, and matte medium. 


Overall, I’m happy with the concept and technique, but I think the execution leaves something to be desired. This process actually influenced my current process of illustration. It helped me realize that while my deep interest in the way natural materials interact is an important component to my illustration process, creating imagery without the help of software takes me too long when there is a deadline to meet. I still use traditional materials in developing my color palettes and textures, but I’m strategic about how I take advantage of the properties of each material. By streamlining the process with software and digital techniques I now achieve better and more efficient results.   


Each of the three parts were released as printed postcards with digital download codes. For the backs of the cards, I contrasted the visual weight of the front with a clean and minimal design. I wanted it to be easy to read, so I used black sans serif type on a solid white background, creating a symmetrical resting place for the eye.