Bob Hund (“Bob Dog” in Swedish) are a Scandinavian indie band that were formed in 1991. Along the way, they’ve gathered a loyal following, picked up some Swedish Grammys and spawned an English-language side project called Bergman Rock. They’ve also commissioned some pretty cool cover art, which is notable for the fact that it comes from the one designer. Martin Kann has worked with the band for over 15 years and his output has been extremely varied.
It’s a fruitful relationship, so we thought we’d get in touch with the talented Swede to find out a little more.
Bob Hund: CD cover (1993)
Bob Hund: CD cover (1994)
How did you start working with the band?
Thomas Öberg (the singer), Jonas Jonasson (the keyboard player) and I know each other since way back. When the band was formed, Öberg called me and asked if I could design their logo – which lead to doing their covers, back drops, merchandise and all that.
Your relationship has been very long-term. Why do you think that is?
Apart from being longtime friends, I spend a lot of time time with the band on a social level. It gives me so many insights, which are a unique source for the design. Throughout the years the band and I have grown together so closely that neither of us can get rid of each other.
Instant Life (1994)
Bob Hund: CD cover (1994)
Bob Hund: LP cover (1996)
The covers you create for them are very varied. How do you approach each one? What kind of brief do they give you?
I usually get into the process when the band is in the studio and a working title is set. My approach is always idea driven, which means that the idea dictates the design. That way my design is often content based. I never decorate and I never consider if something is beautiful or ugly. Those are subjective words irrelevant to the idea.
Regarding a brief there never is one.
Bergman Rock: I’m a crab (1998)
Bob Hund: My Soul Is For Sale! Everything Must Go! (1998)
Bob Hund: Bob Hund Never Sleeps (1999)
How involved are the band in in the process?
Bob Hund and Bergman Rock are a very unique client when it comes to involvement. They more or less give me total freedom to decide what I want. One time they didn’t want to see the cover until it was printed.
Bob Hund: Let the stone age begin (2001)
Bob Hund: 10 Years Backwards and 100 Years Forward (2002)
Bob Hund: CD cover (2002)
Bob Hund: LP cover (2002)
Bob Hund: The New That Was Supposed To Be So Good (2002)
Bergman Rock: Jim (2004)
What is your favourite cover you’ve done for them?
Hard to say.
I put a lot of emotions into all my covers when I’m in the process, so they are all special to me. But if I’m forced to pick one it would probably be “Fantastiskt” from 2009.
It is a vinyl 12″ single made in an edition of 1. The record is glued to a real turntable acting as package with the lyrics etched on the lid. It sold on e-Bay for 3,650 USD and became the most expensive record ever sold in Sweden.