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Fall 2019






The Inner Mounting Flame - Mahuvishnu Orchestra

The Inner Mounting Flame is an experimental psychedelic rock and jazz fusion album from 1971 by the band Mahuvishnu Orchestra. The album is an all instrumental album, so my redesign of the cover was created intuitively as I listened to the album. It acts visual interpretation of the sounds, emotions, and overall mood created by the album. The album to me consisted of two distinct moods which manifest as the energetic flowing background and then the calm glowing sphere. These represent the dichotomy of the album which flows between screaming guitars solos and tranquil moments of peaceful jazz.



Normally I would begin my design process with research and visual mood-boarding to find direction. Although I looked to vintage psychedelic rock albums for aesthetic inspiration, I approached the process of designing completely differently. To begin, I sat and listened to the album all the way through. After processing the album and the way that it felt to me as a whole, I began to listen to it a second time through. I opened photoshop and let myself intuitively make visuals to go along with how the music made me feel. The design acts as my visual interpretation of the music, its emotions, its mood.


To me the album is separated in two very distinct moods. A majority of the album is highly energetic with heavy drums and screaming guitar solos. This is represented by the visually complex yet flowing background that swirls around and takes up most of the visual landscape. The other mood that resonated with me was a peaceful tranquility and stillness that came from very soothing jazz music. This visually manifests itself in the gradient sphere that sits on top of the energized background. The way that the sphere abruptly interrupts the pattern of the background parallels the way that the moments of calm within the album seem to come from nowhere and do not fit smoothly in line with the rest of the album.



For the interior of the album I wanted to focus on typography and utilize white space and a more minimal composition to contrast nicely from the outside of the sleeve. I decided to use a type palette inspired by psychedelic aesthetics from the 70's. I laid the type out on a diagonal grid to experiment and give the inside a unique composition. For me a unique composition paralleled the unique sounds of the experimental and genre-bending album.

To promote the album to newer audiences I created a motion graphic for instagram that lets audiences know The Inner Mounting Flame is available for streaming on apple music, spotify, and soundcloud. 


I also created a coffee cup as merchandise utilizing the wordmark that I created, wrapping it around the cup seamlessly. Everyone loves coffee and to me this album felt like something you could listen to while working on something, sipping coffee while you do so.

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