Exalt Records — record label artwork

September 2021

Design and artwork for Exalt Records since the label's relaunch in 2018.

The first relaunch releases (at the bottom of this page) were very limited 7" and 10" vinyl white labels with an insert (single colour tracing paper initially and then full colour wrap-around paper). The most recent releases (at the top) are vinyl or cassette and feature full colour sleeve and label artwork but keep the aesthetic established by those earlier releases.

 

Ever Vivid – States of Being Exalt 002

Double vinyl album in gatefold sleeve, more on this design here.

Exalt 008.2 cover
Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part Three)
12" double sided insert

Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part Three) Exalt 008.2

The final part of Utopian Dystopias, featuring full colour sleeve, coloured vinyl and double sided insert. Paul had written a short story inspired by the themes he'd explored on the trilogy (see the back of the insert). This was also great inspiration for the artwork, is it a civilisation being destroyed by a planet killing weapon or just an eclipse? Three planets feature on the cover and insert as a nod to the trilogy of releases.

Darren Nye – Fading Memories
A teal shell for the cassette compliments the underwater icy colours
Inlay details
J-card inside, featuring a thank you hidden under the flap
Digital release artwork

Darren Nye – Fading Memories Exalt 013

Based on conversations with Darren about the music, I started exploring a cold/frozen aesthetic and came across some lovely aerial images of icebergs. They seemed a perfect fit for the concept... global warming (icebergs melting) and most of an iceberg being hidden below the surface (there's more to the music than meets the eye). I love the colours of the ice underwater, disappearing into the darkness and emphasised that even more by making it look like it's being viewed on an old CRT screen (making us the viewers of these ice giants fading away).

Exalt Records Birthday Dubplates #1 – Sound Synthesis – Mechanics of Dreams
The set of six hand screen printed inserts

Various Artists – Exalt Birthday Dubplates Exalt Records BDP#1–6

To mark the label owner's birthday, a set of six dubplates (limited to 50 copies of each) was released. I designed a set of A4 inserts based on abstracted images of dice.

Russ Gabriel cassettes covers
Russ Gabriel – Ancestors/Aurology
The black/white shell colours contrast and compliment each other
Digital release artwork
Digital release artwork

Russ Gabriel – Ancestors/Aurology Exalt 001/001.5

The stylised "A" on the covers link these albums that were released simultaneously, a family tree for Ancestors and a geometric letterform for Aurology.

The Hidden Figure – Finality EP
Artwork on a J-card style wrap around insert housed in a clear poly bag

The Hidden Figure – Finality EP Exalt Records Special Edition 02

The Hidden Figure is an alias for an established mystery artist. This inspired the corrupted CCTV style imagery of a shadowy, unknown figure for this limited edition 12".

Morphology – Qualia EP

Morphology – Qualia EP Exalt 005

Full colour 12" paper insert with imagery inspired by the artist name.

Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part Two)
Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part Two) first pressing insert

Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part Two) Exalt 008.1

The second Utopian Dystopias EP, this time we discussed a more optimistic mood for the artwork. Part One (shown further down the page) was fittingly dystopian, this one is more about hope. Also the first use of colour on an Exalt Records insert, giving the sleeve an added dimension but still keeping the label's aesthetic. I love coming up with imagery when there's a solid concept behind a release and a story to interpret.

SCN1 – Daybreak EP, postcard insert – white ink on black card
Postcard with 7" vinyl in plain gloss black sleeve
Digital release artwork

SCN1 ‎– Daybreak EP Exalt 006

Postcard insert for a limited edition two track 7", printed on black card with white ink. The front features graffiti artwork by Hanal, and ScanOne's own graffiti tag on the back.

Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part One)
Wrap around artwork insert

Paul Hierophant ‎– Utopian Dystopias (Part One) Exalt 008

12" paper insert featuring a lone spaceship leaving a giant planet, is this the end or a new beginning?

Steven Rutter – Light From The Dark EP
Tracing paper J-card insert with signed inner sleeve

Steven Rutter ‎– Light From The Dark EP Exalt 009

7" single colour insert printed on tracing paper for a two track EP from one half of B12 and the boss of FireScope Records. The title and atmospheres of the tracks gave me plenty of inspiration for the artwork. Cover photograph by Joe Schulz.

Russ Gabriel – Planet Discovery Exalt 004

A slight tip of the hat to Licensed To Ill and the Space Shuttle Discovery.

The Hidden Figure – Silhouettes
Side A label artwork on the clear vinyl option
Side B label artwork on the smokey marbled vinyl option

The Hidden Figure – Silhouettes Exalt 007

Full colour labels featuring a classic acid-house smiley. Random and increasingly off-axis circles spin out of control, the vortex forcing the typography out through the graphics. Released in a bright yellow sleeve with sticker and in a choice of either clear or smokey marbled vinyl.

Single colour tracing paper insert

Swayzak vs Theorem – Break In At Apartment 205 Exalt Records Special Edition

Reissue of an EP that first appeared on M_nus in 1999. The rainy window of an inner city flat summed up the mood of the title track perfectly. Photography by Gabriele Diwald.

Norken + Nyquist – Go Polonius
Tracing paper wrap around insert

Norken + Nyquist – Go Polonius Exalt 010

10” vinyl EP by Lee Norris and Frank Rumpelt. The brief called for a theme of an Atari ST, a 1980s computer which has enjoyed enduring appeal amongst electronic music producers. From there I started to explore vintage technology, circuit boards and music studio equipment. Original photograph by Galen Crout.

Future Beat Alliance – Black Acid Exalt 012

Limited edition 10” blue vinyl with a single colour tracing paper insert. A retouched image of an unknown forested mountain side evoking the dark brooding nature of the music.

WRNR – Svæv EP Exalt 011

7" white vinyl with tracing paper insert. Ice flows and the cold of the Arctic circle convey the mood of the tracks. Limited to just 50 copies.

John Shima - Discreet (Exalt 014)

John Shima – Discreet Exalt 014

7" green vinyl with tracing paper insert.

G.R.I.T. – KALMADS E.P.
Tracing paper insert and rubber stamped lathe cut clear 7"
Hand screen printed t-shirt, part of a pre-order bundle

G.R.I.T. – KALMADS E.P. Exalt 016

Lathe cut clear 7", the first release for the relaunched label, single colour tracing paper insert and screen printed t-shirt. Imagery influenced by light filtered through trees in a forest.