The client

Huw Costin is a British singer-songwriter who has worked with both Brian Eno and Mark Lanegan. Also known for his output with leftfield disco artists Smith & Mudd as well as rock bands Manatee, The Kull and Earth The Californian Love Dream.

The project

Design packaging and online graphics for the release of Huw Costin’s second solo album Something/Nothing. Plus two single releases.

The challenge

“Huw Costin makes classic records with an attention to detail not often heard anymore – achingly beautiful, direct and gentle poetry” – Mark Lanegan. We had to represent the music through the imagery we used. This album is about many things; love and loss; life and death. We interpreted the title Something/Nothing as meaning transient, at first having something and then not having it. Losing it. The album sleeve photograph presents a scene where a possibly clandestine meeting has taken place or is possibly being continued off camera. All the shots were composed like still lifes – with a purposeful ambiguity to make the viewer question what is going on. We worked with photographer Sophie Laslett on location at a farm in Suffolk.

The results

The album has enjoyed very good reviews and airplay on BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and other commercial stations. You can view all Huw Costin releases here:

Something/Nothing music video.

Disconnected music video.

Special Design Studio did a brilliant job creating the cover art for Something/Nothing. They were a constant source of bold, fresh ideas and always passionate about every detail of the process whether honing the sleeve notes, selecting colour and materials or scouting photoshoot locations. Most importantly they helped a sometimes overwhelmed artist make informed decisions on the most effective way to marry artistic integrity with commercial impact. They also made the whole project seriously enjoyable!

Huw Costin
Scott Poulson