In honor of our brand new Betty Davis reissue and release we had our good friend Vincent Cook cobble together an absolutely breath-taking limited-edition poster of Ms. Betty Davis (which you can win right HERE). We sat down with this very talented graphic designer and fashion designer to pick his brain about the poster, music in general, and that wiley Canuck, Sipreano.
LIGHT IN THE ATTIC: What was the inspiration behind the design for this limited edition Betty Davis poster?
VINCENT COOK: I wanted to create something that was simple and iconic and reflected the more classic side of Betty (i.e. more of a Blue Note vibe rather than the heavy space-funk vibe).
LITA: You also run a clothing company (2Step/Sandinista), I wonder what the difference is in the creative process between designing clothing and crafting this truly beautiful packages.
VC: Designing in the fashion world is inevitably going to be trendy – what I mean by this is that you are reacting to trends, whether to follow or try to stand apart from the current trends. Things are changing pretty fast in fashion, everything is becoming homogeneous and trends come and go in a 2-3 month cycle now because of blogs and look-books posted online. Designing for music is a lot more fun – I personally feel there is more depth in music culture. I also have a much more personal connection and passion for music, digging in the crates, making mix tapes and so forth, so the stuff I do for LITA is very enjoyable and rewarding.
LITA: You’ve also done the design work for both of our Rodriguez issues, the entire Jamaica to Toronto series and Doug Randle. What draws you to these releases?
VC: One big draw was that a good friend wrote all the liner notes for the releases. And he also [re]-discovered a lot of the music. Being Canadian and a huge fan of West Indian roots music, the Jamaica to Toronto series was obviously a must-do project!
LITA: Also, is there a favorite Light In The Attic title you’ve worked on? One that sticks out as your absolute highlight?
VC: I would have to say Jamaica to Toronto, in particular the first, self-titled compilation. It was done totally analog style, with the only digital work being at the very end for production layout (I am referring to the cover and gatefold; I did not design the booklet for that one). I made and assembled all the elements for the main image, and we had an amazing photographer shoot the whole scenario. We had all these crazy lights set up in a furniture factory. That stuff just doesn’t happen anymore.
LITA: What are you obsessed with right now in terms of music, food, movies, etc.?
VC: Sipreano’s new mix for the Sandinista website is sublime. I’m also a big fan of DJ Harvey and The Force of Nature Crew from Tokyo (what’s up Wakkun!). Food should be local and organic if at all possible. One love for all the heritage brands such as Filson, Russell, Moccasin, Danner, Woolrich, Pendleton, etc … they are finally getting some recognition. Simple and timeless design will always win out over stupid trends. Blatant localism and quality island time are high priorities right about now.
LITA: What are you currently working on? What can we look forward to from Vincent Cook in 2010?
VC: I want to dedicate more time to some product and furniture design which I’ve been sadly neglecting lately. Matt [Sullivan, co-owner of Light In The Attic] also has a top shelf re-issue project for LITA that I’m hoping to be involved with. I’m sure he will make it happen. I should also log more time on The Rivet, and if anyone is interested, I sometimes, but rarely update my blog.