When Created got creative with a local music band’s debut album…

The Dirty DeadBased in Andover, in the idyllic county of Hampshire, and just down the road from myself and my amazing team here at Created, The Dirty Dead is a local 2 piece band consisting of Vocalist & Guitarist Dan Parkinson, and Drummer Ashley Tomlinson.

When Dan and Ashley decided to release their debut album, which launched on 4th April, as local marketing experts, they came to us to design the music marketing material they needed; entrusting us with the precious task of creating an album cover, plectrum, and lyric sheet.

Unique Selling Points & Music Marketing

dirty dead album artworkLabelled as “Dirty Groove Rock”, the band takes its influences from the vocal styles of Nick Cave and Tom Waits, the nostalgic grooves of Led Zeppelin, and the stomping guitar riffs of bands like Rage Against the Machine.

With this unique and vibrant musical style, The Dirty Dead needed a brand that truly reflected this; something that
would make them stand above the rest and capture the attention of, not just their intended audience, but brand new audiences, too.

Bucking the trends of expected marketing norms is something I and my amazing team are not afraid to do here at Created, forever focussed on achieving and delivering the best for our clients; reflecting their personalities and identifying their Unique Selling Points (USP).

Being a debut album for an up-and-coming band, this marketing challenge had many exciting layers to it; calling for us not only to get to know Dan & Ashley’s aspirations and inspirations, but also get to know the album itself – what was the message, or messages, behind it, what were they trying to achieve, and who were they appealing to?

It’s this part – listening to the needs and desires of our clients, drilling down into what makes them special – that enables us to create beautiful, successful branding. On this occasion, my amazing assistant Nicole was able to create a design which took unique to a new level: a Rorschach; using ink, water colours, and Photoshop.

Listening to the Needs of Our Clients

But – don’t just take my word for it! – here, Dan Parkinson tells all about his experience with us at Created:

“The band started with me, writing songs. I never really intended to do anything with them,” explains The Dirty Dead’s Vocalist & Guitarist, Dan. “I just wanted to make an album.

“I wanted to keep things simple so I got in a good friend of mine, Ash, to play drums; he doesn’t play live with me but he’s a great friend of mine and I am honoured to have him play on the record.

“When the project started growing I realised I needed some art work. I wasn’t looking for just a picture of something, or a logo, I wanted something that would symbolise the album. Something unique that only meant “Nightingale” and nothing else.

“I got into contact with Nicole and we went through some ideas of what I thought I wanted, looking back they were terrible ideas on my part.

“But she came back to me not even a week later with the idea of a Rorschach. There is not a lot more unique than your very own Rorschach.

“I remember she did about 10 of these things, I saw the first one and said:

‘Yep! That’s it’

‘Do you not want to see the others?’ she asked.

I said: ‘if you want, but that one is the one’ haha!

“The album is a concept album, about the undead falling in love with someone in the living world, and the artwork is strangely representative in that way – he colours, the faint purple shining through, perhaps to represent hope, the good within the dark…

“I like that it looks like the devil, or an insect. I like that everyone sees something different when they look at it.

“I tried inverting the colours once so they would go on a black background but instantly hated it.

“White is classy, especially for a dirty rock album, I like the juxtaposition of that.

“It’s so horribly beautiful.”

Creating Unique Designs

We’re immensely proud of this piece of work, as we are of all our portfolio, and I’m elated that Dan feels the same; listening to his needs meant my amazing Assistant Nicole was able to create something desperately unique – as unique as the band’s sound – a design that The Dirty Dead will be able to carry with them for years to come. How very exciting!

If you’d like us to design a brand as unique as your business, just send us an email or give us a call; we’re never afraid of a challenge or two!

To see the Rorschach in action, and listen to The Dirty Dead’s fantastic debut album (which looks pretty smart, if I do say so myself!), you can follow them on any one of the following social media channels:


Twitter – @heythedirtydead

Instagram – @fuckthedirtydead

YouTube – The Dirty Dead channel