DJ Shadow: The Outsider

While it’s certainly not his best album, I think the cover has a lot going for it. With DJ Shadow touring next month I thought it best to look at his album from 2006.

The iconic kid cowboy with records was strong enough to work for the two other singles off the album. Limited editions and regional pressings all featured the same artwork but with a different background texture. The singles featured the kid in different poses. By creating this “mascot” for the album is made the rest of the visual communication easier. I also dig the ribbed display font too. But I’m a sucker for big display fonts.

This type treatment has become the main logo for DJ Shadow lately. It’s very Merchandise friendly and all self respecting DJ’s need a recognizable mark these days.

Here’s the UK limited edition cover. I do miss the yellow though.

DJ Shadow: The Outsider Limited

If you’re a DJ worth your salt then you probably received this version. Not sure what the lightning bolt on the back is for. I’m guessing to it’s easier to flick through when in a big pile.

DJ Shadow: The Outsider LP
DJ Shadow: The Outsider LP Back

The Japanese release featured a red background. The kiddie cowboy DJ thing might have been seen as a horror film poster as the Japanese love their kiddie killers.

DJ Shadow: The Outsider Japan

The singles “Enuff” and “This Time” both kept the kid cowboy theme going.

DJ Shadow: Enuff Radio Edit
DJ Shadow: Enuff CD
DJ Shadow: Enuff Inside

I like this image of the records on the little reg wagon.

DJ Shadow: This Time
DJ Shadow: This Time Back

Posters & flyer’s for the album and tour all featured the little cowboy.

DJ Shadow: B2 Poster
DJ Shadow: HMV Poster
DJ Shadow: The Outsider Press Poster
The Outsider Flyer

There was also a series of limited edition prints made.

DJ Shadow: The Outsider Prints

The designer Paul Insect was the founder of UK design group Insect which now seems to be disbanded. Luckily he has his own personal site which is the obligatory coming soon type stuff.

I asked Paul what was the meaning behind the little cowboy DJ and Paul sent me this. I’ve pasted this verbatim and as Paul explained at the beginning of this email “Sorry for the up AND DOWN TYPE… GLass of wine AND a lAPTOP DON’T MIX VERY WELL.” Rock & roll :)

“WE WENT WITH THE KID, as I felt, AND SO DID JOSH SHadow, thAT EVERYONE at some point
when growing up hAD BEEN an outsider of some kind, AND HE hAD FELT THat when stARTING
OFF BEING a DJ, so the down trodden boy following his dreAM Seemed the right direction to take
the ARTWORK.

THE BOY HIMSELF Was A FRIENDS CHILD WHO Was being bullied AT SCHOOL, and
hAD BEEN mADE TO FEEL an outsider himself, for no pARTICULar reASON.
So he wAS an obvious choice for me WHEN I Came to take the photos, SO WHEN he
could finALLY Take A COPY OF the record into school to tALK about the whole experience, doing A
RECORD SIGNING WITH DJ SHadow, AND a whole bunch of other stuff he did, he wAS NOW A LEader…
and hAS NOT BEEN BULLIED SINCE.
Confidence BUILDING IS a powerful thing.”

For more info on Paul’s work check this blog entry on Anti-Corp from 2007.