Now that all the Justin Bieber outcry and Arcade Fire surprise talk has quieted down after Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, attention must be paid to things much more important, namely packaging design. In case you missed it, because the award hand off wasn’t televised and it didn’t arrive in an egg carried by a group of dancers, Brooklyn-based designer Michael Carney took home the Grammy win for best packaging for The Black Keys‘ album Brothers. Outside of the very dry and very funny case, which simply lays it all out by saying, “This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers,” the thrill of the packaging came from the inside, featuring a disc printed with heat-sensitive ink that would change colors (like a Hypercolor shirt, if you were born before 1990). The LA Times has a short post-win interview with Carney, but for the real deal, we recommend reading Wes Flexner‘s great, lengthy interview with him for all the details. Here’s a bit about how the printing came to be:
I told one of the people at [the band’s label] Nonesuch that I heard about color changing ink and I wanted to find out if we could source it and if we could do some test runs to find out how it works. She found a company that made it and I sent the art to a factory for mock ups. We got it back, thought it was insane so we used it. The funny thing is I didn’t really tell any one other than [band members] Pat and Dan that I used it, so when the final cds came back I got this crazy voice mail from the Black Keys management saying, “The cds are misprinted. What are we gonna do…?” He was freaked out and I called him and I was like take the cd, and hold it up to your forehead for a minute then look at it. He did it and then lost his mind when he saw the heat sensitive ink.