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.
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.
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.
The singles “Enuff” and “This Time” both kept the kid cowboy theme going.
I like this image of the records on the little reg wagon.
Posters & flyer’s for the album and tour all featured the little cowboy.
There was also a series of limited edition prints made.
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 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.