One product, four decades

The following work process for this project is adapted for web. Read the pdf version here (incl. concept presentation, finalized art and work process) : MA02 Report (pdf)



The concept is named Pling Plong!

A tag given electronic music and also to humiliate Arne Nordheim’s style when he started experimenting with classical music and electronic sounds in the 60’s.

The expression is now used ironically throughout the concept.

Yes, Arne Nordheim is the “product” and the client wish to promote him in a very special way.

He is still Norway’s most famous composer next to Grieg. And the one most influential to today’s musicians both from the electronica and classical genre.

The concept is purely visual. Trying to envision Arne Nordheim in four styles spanning four different decades from 1910 to 2000.

To reach the target audience, several products were suggested suitable for decoration, and also be attractive to the audience and at the same time express something new and old.

A Vinyl Jacket is produced. The perfect “cover” for a client that needs to sell more records.
The Vinyl Jackets each have striking visuals from De Stijl, Bauhaus, Pop Art and Street Art. Each style have distinct features and might be appealing to the target audience.


Target Audience

Target audience are young aspiring culture enthusiast willing to experiment with music, especially challenging music from contemporary composers.

Arne Nordheim is the most influential composer in Norway the past century. He represents experimental and quite “difficult” music, interesting enough for this crowd to start listening to. Target age is 14-24. Young people that has yet to learn to listen to classical music, and are therefore unaware of its many benefits.

Classical music makes you smarter, give visual emotions, evoke memories, and stimulate imagination according to research.

However, this re-release will also:

  • Create interest and lower the threshold for accepting the classical music genre
  • Advocate healthy reasons why one should listen to classical music
  • Raise awareness of his music’s variety, complexity, richness and depth.
  • Show that classical music also is new music composed as we speak.




A domestic record label publishing classical music needs to prepare future market, sell more records, and also reach out to a younger audience.

They wish to promote Arne Nordheim because of his relevancy to today’s electronica and pop music. The client’s strategy is to work up a crowd of loyal listeners over a course of time. They are not in any hurry.


Book covers, apparel (hoodie), vinyl jackets, and posters are among the considered products. They have large surfaces and are also appealing to the target audience.

The project opened up for list generation of possible products, interesting composers and a overview of style movements over the past century.

Working within the constraints of “one product and four styles” kind of sets the tone and narrow down the possibilities.

However, evaluating what four styles could fit the chosen product, and if it could appeal to the target audience at the same time, is one of the primary goals.


Style movements form 1900 to 2000 are all very inspiring. However, the latest styles tend to have more impact.

Art Nouveau is a great style and was seriously considered initially, but it’s not as thought provoking compared to i.e. Banksy’s political ideas, or Bauhaus intellectual philosophy.

Roy Lichtenstein’s images are clear and visually strong. His work is easier to relate to than i.e. Andy Warhol. Roy’s imagery tells a story you’d like to know.

Herbert Bayer is a Bauhaus schooled artist creating advertisements and experimented with typography. As a graphic designer he created very inspiring and impressive works.

Banksy is the one everyone think of when Street art is mentioned. He is not the only one, but he is the most famous. His ideas are truly clever and savvy.


Based on research uplifting music can boost mental capacity. It makes your “brain work better”. This could be the main driver, but it misses the target. Young people don’t think of them selves as being dumb.

Vinyl Jacket is the chosen design product. More, Vinyl is now having a comeback and might attract younger audiences. The covers are also used in online streaming services to show albums, current tracks or collections.



  • Online streaming of music
  • Readily available at all times
  • A great range of artists to choose from
  • Multiple distributors of streaming services, some are free of charge
  • Imagery from the design product can easily be shared on social media via playlists.
  • Classical music makes you smarter, give visual emotions, evoke memories, and stimulate imagination
  • Vinyl is having a comeback and is increasingly popular.


  • Most music streaming providers charge a small amount
  • A music CD/LP cover can be easily overlooked unless it catches the eye quickly
  • Classical/contemporary music can be “hard to like” or “hard to get” for younger people
  • It can be pretentious and too formal
  • Concerts can be expensive
  • “Bring the classics to the Youth” can be regarded as pathetic

Based on these assertions, making the product look cool and attractive might tell the audience about the contents relevancy. They also look trendy.

Sketches and explorations

Starting out with pencils and markers trying to visualize how the concept could be applied to suitable surfaces.


Out takes

Initially Art Nouveau and Post Modernism were given a try. But their styles did not quite fit the concept. These ideas were ultimately scrapped.



Ideas were further developed. Art Nouveau (left) was later swapped with Bauhaus.


Construction and testing

Pop art

Ideas were drawn in Illustrator or Photoshop. All effects are built up from scratch.

Testing revealed particular interest for Pop Art and De Stijl. Also Street Art and Bauhaus versions were regarded just a little less catchy, but way cool.

ma02-constructHalftone Screen made in Illustrator


ma02-arne5Line work done in Illustrator using tablet


Color pallet used for Pop Art Arne

Street Art

For the Street art version the main thing is to make it look like it is actually sprayed, sponged and painted on a concrete wall using stencils and tools of trade.


Paintbrush, paint-roll, sponge and spray effects

Photoshop was the application for this technique all the way. Several layers and masking were used to achieve this stencil effect.


De Stijl

De Stijl and the rectangular style was challenging. It is hard to get the logic behind each choice for placing the blocks and vertical and horizontal lines.


It was important not to make it look like it was “machine made”. The black lines are made a bit uneven all over to get the hand-painted feel.

A little structure is also applied to all the surfaces to make it look like it is painted on a canvas.


Bauhaus is also quite hard to get right without copy shamelessly from previous masters.

Using Illustrator and a filter on the photo gave a cut out effect. It give a sensation of “filling in the blanks” while the rounded fonts give balance.


A great deal of effort was put into details work and compositions for each style. All Vinyl Jackets should have their own distinct style.


Vinyl Jackets representing each style movement


From all style movements.

Bauhaus – black and white photography and text as layout objects.moodboard-bauhaus

De Stijl is about constructing with non organic, pure geometric shapes.moodboard-destijl

Pop Art is halftone screen and close ups, comic book style and hand lettering.moodboard-popart

Street Art – concrete walls, few colors, spray paint, stencil shapes.moodboard-streetart




De Stijl, Bauhaus, Pop Art and Street Art are the chosen styles.

However, within in each style movement there are different takes i.e. Pop Art. Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein both have a common understanding, but they have their own ways of exercising it.

The same goes for the other movements, so each style will also have this designer’s influence as well.



Fonts used are many. De Stijl uses two; DeStencilNF and Theo Van Doesburg.

While Bauhaus uses Futura PT and Bauhaus 93 (of course).

Pop Art use DupuyHeavy Ex a comic book font simulating Roy’s own lettering.

Street art use Cityburn Regular and Octin Spraypaint Regular.



Each Vinyl Jacket have their own palette. Street Art and Bauhaus style have only three colors, while Pop Art has the largest color range.

Red and black are colors they all have in common.




Style Movements


De Stijl

Pop Art

Street Art

Graphic Design History Timeline

Arne Nordheim

Arne Nordheim


Pling plong!

Musikk skal høres, ikke forstås


100 ideas that changed Graphic Design, p42, 66, 68, 72, 101, 130 and 132, 155, 178

Graphic Style from Victorian to New Century – 3rd Ed. p110-117, 268



Market driven vs Market Driving

Other Articles

Uplifting Music

Children and Classical music


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