In November 2016 Oscar Powell released his debut album, Sport, on XL Recordings. The progressive album has embarked on a long journey, particularly one of intrigue coupled with beguiling art direction from friend Guy Featherstone, who additionally works for Wieden + Kennedy.
An experiment in typography, the Powell logo has been manipulated by Guy into its own character, often appearing throughout music videos, tapping, swimming or cycling. Flush in a neon colour palette, the design of Powell’s campaign has been consistently considered, repeatedly appearing throughout music videos, 12" releases and on social media.
As part of this campaign Oscar and XL created one of the most extensive merchandise shops available for an artist. Within his online shop you can purchase the usual T-shirt, but also a bicycle that “looks awesome outside an Islington gastropub”, says Powell, a swimming cap “as worn by Michael Phelps… looks good in the rave too!” and even a horse named Steve that “used to be mates with famous horses".
To combat the amount of journalists (myself included) attempting to get an interview with Oscar the team put together an online timeline of need-to-know facts about the artist. His musical career is mapped out from achieving a grade two in saxophone in 1994, paying “full whack” for Logic in 2004, to releasing his record this year.
Providing insights about his career is a characteristic of Powell’s, who printed out a harsh e-mail correspondence with Steve Albini on a billboard, as well as Guy translating it into a music video format. This was followed by Powell putting his personal email address on a billboard earlier this year to enable an actual conversation with his fans.
Whether you like Oscar Powell’s music or not, there is no denying that the advertising campaign and graphic design behind Sport is inspired.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.