Alison Fielding is head of creative at independent label Beggars Group and creative director of agency Gas Associates, boasting a portfolio of clients including The Prodigy, Morrissey, Pulp, Blur and The Horrors.
Having collaborated with artists creating music that is talked about decades beyond its release, Alison believes that the associated design work needs to be just as timeless. “The key thing is that the artist feels the sleeve and campaign represents their music and vision, and that it serves to enhance their music. I try not to follow trends, I’ve learnt by my mistakes!” She says.
Music is often reflective of a period of time, sociologically and economically. On how this affects the design process, Alison believes that with “so many visual platforms available” the cultural influence is “quite often a subliminal process.” Subsequently, themes explored in the music are often reflected in the design style.
Having worked with established musicians as well as emerging artists, Alison finds it “an absolute privilege to work on projects for artists like Morrissey or David Bowie,” but also enjoys the excitement of “working with more unknown artists at the very beginning of their career.”
The designer believes that contact is key, “With the bigger artists you often deal with managers. I like to work with artists directly, the music is so personal and there might be an idea that you can take away from a face-to-face meeting that can turn into a sleeve.”
When discussing common obstacles for design in the music industry, Alison reveals that continually changing formats are exciting but also provide a challenge. “There is always a need to effectively market an artist and quite often the art versus commerce argument rears its head. It’s a fine balance.”