Worship Harvest has produced and released seven worship music projects namely; Come By Here (2001), At Your Throne (2004), Voice Of Triumph (2007), Anjagala (2011), Celebrate (2014), One Name (2015) and the latest, 2017 yet-to-be released project ‘Our God Reigns’.
I’ve had the incredible privilege of developing all these CD cover art concepts and designs except ‘Come By Here’ which was designed by Julius Ssentongo and ‘Anjagala’ that was designed by Ivan Geoff Kiragga.
With every new project, my desire is always to go next level with the cover art. From the time the job is commissioned, my mind starts racing with all sorts of ideas. There is always A LOT of pressure to get it done in record time, just like with any other job. For me, the task to develop a CD cover concept for a Worship Harvest album is not just another job, it is an opportunity to worship by design. Being a member of Worship Harvest and the music team as well, I know how much time and effort is put into the music to make it excellent. The packaging of a CD is what everybody gets to see before they listen to the music so it needs to keep up with the spirit of the music and sell it well.
This project has been the most exciting so far because I really wanted to take the design in a totally different direction from the previous ones. I actually had done three cover concepts but only presented the one. I’ve shelved the other ideas for other future projects.
Developing the Concept
When I heard the title track of the CD, a song titled ‘Our God Reigns’ (https://soundcloud.com/worshipharvestministries/our-god-reigns-worship-harvest) written by Blessed Ivan Muhumuza. I immediately started getting ideas. The chorus of the song says ‘Our God reigns in this city, He reigns in the nations, he reigns in every home…’
So I started by asking myself a question; what does it look like for God to reign in Kampala? The default answer was that everything would just fall in place. There would be no corruption, no potholes, no traffic jams etc. Kampala would be a utopian city. Then, I asked myself another question; does it mean that God is not reigning in Kampala because many things are not yet perfect? That’s when it hit me that even with the imperfection that we face, GOD REIGNS OVER KAMPALA. He is still God over Uganda and the whole world. He reigns over every business, every school, every leader. He reigns regardless of whether we recognize Him or not. This is what formed the basic concept for the CD cover. So after developing this concept, I called up an illustrator that I’ve worked with on other projects. He’s called Stephen Mulyanga. We sat down and I explained to him what the idea was and he started on the illustration.
What Illustration Style do we use?
After Stephen had done the initial illustrations, I looked through them and made a few alterations. Then we started trying out different illustration styles. The original idea was to use line art. The whole illustration was supposed to be made of coloured lines. (See the image below.) I also toyed with the idea of making them monochrome but that did not work out well. We eventually settledfor the style you see on the final product.
This was the easy part. The album cover had to be bright, busy and engaging. I didn’t want it to look like the usual worship album. I chose to use many primary colours but treated them a bit so that they are not raw but easy on the eye.
Font & Typeface Selection
The other aspect of any design that requires careful selection is the font. I have a font bank of over 6000 fonts. Now going though that many fonts to choose the perfect one is no easy task. Also as a designer, I tend to gravitate towards particular fonts that are my favourite.
One designer once said, ‘When in doubt, use Helvetica. It always works!’ This time round, I chose to use my freehand to draw the album title in my own font. I’m an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil user (https://www.apple.com/apple-pencil/) so that made my work a lot easier. I used the app Adobe Draw (http://www.adobe.com/products/draw.html) and exported it to Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 on mac and finished it there.
Bringing it Home.
After the illustration was done, there was still one thing missing; how do I tie this illustration to Worship Harvest? How do I tie it to Uganda? As it was, it could be a cover for any artist’s album anywhere in the world. So I chose to throw in a few cues to bring the design home.
What do you see when you look at the design? Do you see the ‘Church begins on Monday’ t-shirt? What about the UMEME guy? MTN tower? Worship Harvest tower? (Insert grin here.) What about the NBS reporter? Harvest Academy students? Lake Victoria? Street preacher? I hope you love the new Worship Harvest album CD cover as much as I do. Hope you love the music even more.
The Album Launch
Worship Harvest music team will be launching this album on August 4th, 5th and 6th at Worship Harvest Naalya. All shows are at 7pm and for UGX 30,000 only, you’ll get a copy of this 12-track CD and a ticket to the concert. You can also bring the children at UGX 15,000 each. Tickets are available at all Worship Harvest locations. Alternatively, you can call me and I’ll deliver one to you. J