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Custom Packaging Spotlight: “The Decalogue” By Sufjan Stevens

Our custom packaging projects are unique to each of our customers, and give us an opportunity to flex our creative strengths in a variety of ways. We recently had the chance to create a custom package for Asthmatic Kitty Records artist Sufjan Stevens, a singer/songwriter based in New York City. This deluxe edition of his album, “The Decalogue,” comprises a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket, 180-gram vinyl, a 40-page songbook, a 9×12 art print by Charlotte de Mezamat, and a download card.

Package Specs:

  • Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket printed on 24pt board, black backside board printing, 5 PMS spot colors, and on uncoated stock
  • 9×12 40 page plus cover songbook – Cover printed on 100lb uncoated cover stock with 1 PMS color, inner pages printed on 70lb smooth text stock
  • 12×9 art print printed black on 130# uncoated board stock

We had the opportunity to speak with John Beeler at Asthmatic Kitty and get his insight on working with Copycats for this project including the inspiration being the packaging components, the importance of physical media, and more:

What was your motivation for choosing all the packaging components you decided on for Decalogue?

Sufjan is a graphic designer by training, and before Michigan and Illinois he worked as a graphic designer in New York. I’ve worked with many graphic designers, and fewer and fewer have experience with physical product – which is, of course, a totally different medium than digital. They often have problems understanding how something will look when printed on real paper. Not so with Sufjan. With nearly every project, Sufjan comes to the label with a very clear vision of how his albums should appear on record store shelves. We usually have a conversation about cost and marketing and his goals. I do everything I can to ensure that his vision becomes a reality, but sometimes, due to cost limitations, we can’t do everything he wants. But with The Decalogue we did (and with Copycat’s help!). We knew The Decalogue was a niche product, so we wanted to create something special just for the fans.

What aspects of this custom packaging were you most excited for?

I was most excited for the score. Whether it’s releasing his Christmas songs into the public domain, or printing song books for his shows, Sufjan has always been about letting fans participate with the music by playing it. I love the artwork on the front of the score and was really excited to see how it turned out. And it turned out great.

How much of a hand did Sufjan himself have in designing this packaging?

Charlotte de Mezamat, a visual artist currently living in NYC, created the mono print artwork that we see throughout The Decalogue product, but Sufjan did all the graphic design; typography, layout, etc.

If you’re interested in building a custom package for your upcoming project, contact the experts at Copycats Media and one of our sales staff will be more than happy to assist you.

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