From visual identity to live video projections, album covers to custom-built dynamic websites, Diskotopia is the single longest collaborative project I’ve been continually involved in.
The Osaka Years
Diskotopia started in Osaka as a semi-regular music event in the mid-2000s. From the beginning I set about developing the visual design of the events, primarily the logo and flyer designs which underwent many iterations as the project evolved.
As the event became a weekly fixture, I began producing live video projections. First using simple two-channel video mixing software, I soon discovered Quartz Composer and over time developed a broad set of custom-programmed patches for interactive and audio-responsive generative video.
By 2010 Diskotopia had relocated to Tokyo and begun the transition to the record label it is today. While I was fortunate enough to produce and run the visuals for a few events in the capital, this also marked my transition to focus on new responsibilities.
Primarily as a designer, I began by developing a new visual identity for the label. This culminated in a custom typographic logo utilising daft geometric forms within unadorned grid layouts. The newly-built, CMS-backed website echoed this sensibility, with the logotype being later developed into a full font.
As the identity matured, the logotype’s initial bluntness was tempered by contextualising it within a tag, always in the top-left corner. Again, this was echoed in the 2017 refresh of the label website, now incorporating custom audio playback among numerous other technical improvements.
One of the greatest joys for me over the years was making visuals to wrap around music. The numerous cover designs I’ve made for Diskotopia releases has been one of the highlights of my professional working life and a creative satisfaction that I know is rare enough to be cherished.
Though I’ve been less directly involved with the label over the past few years, I’m happy to see that the visuals are in very capable hands, just as the music always has been.