Behind the Artwork: This Is A Move - Brandon Lake
Well, here we are — another blog about creativity for another excellent worship song — let me just say that I’ll never tire of this. The wonderful and humbling task of designing for the worship genre is an honor beyond belief. What an incredible task; to be the eyes and creativity behind an album or single artwork.
“This Is A Move” was no different and really pushed me to continually be seeking out both the most creative asset to represent this song, but also what would be represent and steward Brandon Lake’s heart for this song.
To begin, a little context for “This Is A Move”. This song was written by Brandon Lake and Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, but recorded first by Tasha. After Brandon had signed with Bethel Music, our leadership wanted to have Brandon record this song and take it to CCM radio (as Tasha’s version was released within the Gospel genre). Brandon’s version was produced by David Leonard (no relation to Tasha ha!) of “All Sons and Daughters” fame — which is a dream in itself, because, hands up if you experienced God in a new way with their songs back in the day!
From my memory, our team started working on the artwork for the single before the final version was recorded/produced. So our only reference for the song was Tasha’s album version and Brandon’s “live at Bethel Church” version (which was already gaining traction on YouTube from a fan-uploaded version).
One thing that really helped in this process was our team’s ability to get face-time with Brandon and hear his heart and vision for this song. I’m always so inspired to create art when I can see into someone’s mind and feel where they’re coming from — and what they’re hoping to achieve from said art.
These are a sample of some of the initial concepts that were sent to Brandon for revision that myself and Suzanne Ecker came up with (Suzanne is our new Creative Director at Bethel Music).
As you can see — the early design styles were much more typographic than what we ended up landing on. One of the things that I loved so much about these initial directions was their decidedly “athleisure” nature. I love finding inspiration from seemingly random places, other sub-cultures within design, or completely opposite mediums (drawing typographic inspiration from Adidas and Nike for music, rather than looking to other music genres etc).
As much as I love experimenting with new typography and editing styles, at the end of the day, every design element needs to reflect the heartbeat of the record/music. So even if I’ve created something super fly, the mark of good design at Bethel Music is about keeping all your designs malleable and soft in your hands and keeping a humble heart before both the Lord and those in charge over you, so that every concept has the ability to be molded and stretched to perfectly fit the canvas it was designed for.
After a lot of back and forth with Brandon and Suzanne, we landed on the cover that you see today.
I’ve included a bunch of the “back and forth” development — be encouraged — we don’t always land something the first time around!
So as you can see — this cover went through a ton of revision and changes as our team sought to create something that held the tension between creativity and clarity. I’m proud of the cover that we landed on, but more proud of our team for continuing to foster an openness to be in a constant state of revision and choosing to find new inspiration and creativity even when you think you’ve exhausted all your resources!
Praying that this song and artwork bless you and lead you further toward the great destiny and plans that the Lord has for you.
We ARE in the greatest move of God on the earth and it’s so exciting to be partnering with the Lord in all that He’s doing — I invite you to do the same — whether you’re part of a movement like Bethel, or you’re the only creative in your small-town church, submit all you do to Him and watch Him take your (our) humble efforts and lead people to Him.
After all, it’s HIS move we’re apart of and for HIS glory we do what we do.
Creative Director: Suzanne Ecker
Art Director & Designer: Stephen James Hart