Grateful Dead Iconography Lives Again On Tribute Album

NYC design studio The Collected Works provided art direction, identity, packaging, print, motion and web design for a recently completed compilation album in tribute to The Grateful Dead. Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National brought together their favorite musicians to compose 59 tracks; in the end the project became a 5 CD set, and a 10 LP box set with all proceeds donated to HIV/AIDS awareness and support though the Red Hot Organization.



The design system, says The Collected Works partner Justin Colt, “is a modern reinterpretation of the Dead’s iconography, lyrics and related imagery. Throughout the identity we use a combination of oil and water textures (referencing backing visuals of live Grateful Dead shows), and hand drawn illustrations (created by the incredibly talented Gary Panter). This creates an expandable system that works across all the packaging–and is also flexible enough to adapt to web, motion and apparel design.” Colt adds, playfully, that “the imagery may or may not require the viewer to be on LSD to get the full effect. But you didn’t hear that from us.”