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James Reed | Greetings From Wembley Park
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Greetings From Wembley Park

I had the pleasure late last year of being commissioned by the SSE Arena, Wembley Park, London to create a marketing pack in the style of a 12′ vinyl record sleeve to promote the venue worldwide to music promoters, musicians and organisations. The brief was to recreate Bruce Spingsteen’s ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.’ 12″ LP sleeve which was released through Columbia Records in 1973. The original release also came with a custom postcard which I was also to recreate along with a custom slip mat instead of the vinyl record itself.[/vc_column_text]

The original cover art was created by an unknown american designer know for his iconic typography postcards and illustrations for many popular american holiday destinations. As the story goes for Bruce Springsteen’s debut record on columbia he simply bought a postcard from Asbury pier and took it to the head artist of Columbia Records, Jon Berg, who having a love of postcard art loved the idea, much to the disappointment of the record company bosses who thought it was a terrible idea and that John Berg would agree. Thankfully he didn’t! Being a fan of both John Berg and Bruce Springsteen’s work this project was a true pleasure to work on. Here are some examples of the original record cover and artwork.

Asbury Park

With the recreation of the cover for the SSE Arena there were certain elements that needed to be changed to keep in line with the SSE Arena branding guidelines which meant the colour on the cover needed to differ from the original. For the cover I also needed to reproduce the text and fonts like for like. This was the most labour intensive side of the project and something I had to get right. especially when the postcard art work is so iconic and this pack will be sent to the U.S. where his work is instantly recognisable (no pressure then). I actually ended up doing the typography twice as something didn’t quite sit right with some of the lettering first time round. I’m glad I did this as I think it would just end up niggling me every time I’d see the finished cover. The photos used within the lettering had to convey various features of the venue which was quite a challenge as some letters provided more space than others. Thankfully with the help of the venue we managed to settle on a good selection.

Wembley

The reverse side of the record also stayed faithful to the original layout using the tracklistings to promote benefits and features of hiring the venue to potential clients. It also features a stamp which contains head shots of all the behind the scenes staff at the venue to humanise the work force and give them more of an identity.

Wembley - Vinyl Back

For the slip mat I took inspiration from Columbia Records vinyl labels produced in the eraly 70’s as I wanted to be as accurate as possible to the original release which was a big deal to me as I really wanted to do the redesign justice and instantly recognisable to fans of the Boss himself. The slip mat was only available to be printed in one colour so I had to drop the red which appeared on the ooriginal record label however all fonts and layout are spot on. As the SSE Arena also has associated businesses within the Wembley Park complex including AXS, London Designer Outlet and Wembley Park itself these logos also needed to be added to the composition.

Wembley - Vinyl slipmat

The final element of the promotional pack was the postcard which utilised the cover art on the front side and on the reverse a message from the SSE Arena team along with staff names and job descriptions. The postcard, like in the original release, is a lovely final touch which gives a more personal touch to the recipient.

Wembley All

All in all I am very pleased with how the final package came together and feel it pays an accurate homage to such an iconic cover. The feedback from the team at the SSE Arena, Wembley has been very positive and I believe these will be going out worldwide very soon. Exciting times!

 Thanks for reading.

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