From Book to Vinyl: LPs Inspired by Books
One part book review. One part music curation. One part packaging design.
I love books, music, and design, so I came up with a way to combine them all: book mixtape LPs. I read a book, create a mixtape inspired by the book, and then design a cover for the mixtape in the style of a vinyl record.
I don’t aim to create a better design than the book cover. I’m using the book as an inspiration for a musical playlist, which I use as inspiration for packaging for a vinyl record. That might sound convoluted, but oh well. I enjoy making mixtapes inspired by things, and I enjoy making album art for my mixtapes, so that’s how we got here.
I started this project in January.
I had the idea for this project for a while but didn’t have the desire to do it until recently. The first book I read this year was The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl by Jenna Miles. The book pretty much puts together the playlist by itself, making it an ideal candidate for my Book to LP project.
Review of The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl
I bought this book because we’re super into collecting vinyl, and I wanted to know more about the investments we’re making. The author gave a historic overview of the medium and included some of the science behind it, which was interesting and helped me understand why there is a correct way to handle and store vinyl. She talked a lot about records she thinks you should own. What to buy. What not to buy (not based on musical taste alone—what makes a good purchase versus things to avoid). How to collect. She even talked about how to properly store your vinyl. Turns out we were storing it incorrectly, and I’ve since solved that issue. This book is a fun and easy read, and it has information for beginners and experienced collectors alike. Definitely glad I put this in my library.
Playlist for The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl
I wanted my playlist to include a song from all of the “must own” albums, but quickly realized that would be impossible (and horribly biased). Instead, I decided to title my playlist “A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl”—it’s not a definitive list. I put together my playlist, which included songs from many albums the author mentions and some from albums I consider “must-owns”. I’m working to keep these playlists around an hour (a habit leftover from when I had an hour-long radio show).
“A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl” playlist on Spotify
“A Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl” playlist on YouTube
Album Art for The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl
The album art was the easiest part. I wanted to be funny, especially since I enjoy the original book cover art. The book art covers (pun intended) the ideas of piles of records, retro-ness, and rock and roll. I decided that my book-inspired LP had to feature a ubiquitous “must-own” album on the cover. Oh, and some Helvetica for added irony. I never use Helvetica because I find it overused and boring. Helvetica does have its place: when you want the rest of the art to sing or if you want to add some irony. Raygun‘s built an entire business based on the latter use of Helvetica.
Ta-da. First installment of Books to LPs: complete.
Name the last book you read and a song that would go with it. 🙂 Go!