D&AD Competition Brief: XL Recordings

February 11, 2014 § Leave a comment



For the competition brief I have chosen to do the XL Recordings project for D&AD. The brief is as follows:


XL Recordings is a British independent record label started in 1989 as an offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records. Though only releasing an average of six albums a year, XL Recordings has worked with artists across a range of genres, with album launches worldwide.

Creative Challenge

Illustrate a significant event, or series of events, from the history of XL Recordings, from the selection below:
        •  Dizzee Rascal Boy In Da Corner wins Mercury Music Prize.

  • M.I.A. performs at Grammy Awards while nine months pregnant.
  • XL Recordings wins Music Week Best Independent Label Award.
  • Adele Skyfall wins Oscar.
  • Drake samples the Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx song Take Care.
  • Radiohead In Rainbows pay-what-you-want release direct from the band.
  • The White Stripes play the Amazon Theatre in Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon.
  • As an escape from the music industry’s long lead times The Raconteurs release their second album Consolers Of The Lonely within a month of announcing it.
  • 10,000 ravers still make it through to XL’s Popham Airport rave, despite police attempts to roadblock the event. Prodigy and SL2 headline.
  • Adele becomes the first artist since The Beatles to simultaneously have two albums in the Top 5 and two Top 5 singles.
  • Richard Russell and Joby Talbot produced avant garde orchestral Aluminium album pays tribute to the White Stripes, and is turned into Chroma, a ballet premiered at the Royal Opera House in London.
  • Tyler, the Creator performs at MTV’s VMAs and wins Best New Artist award.
  • A mysterious John S. O’Leary pops up to sing the chorus on Electric Six’s disco flavoured smash hit Danger! High Voltage.
  • Fuck The Pain Away by Peaches becomes a defining track of Berlin’s burgeoning electronic music / arts scene later dubbed ‘Electroclash’.
  • Richard Russell and Nick Halkes’ Kicks Like A Mule rave outfit release The Bouncer via Tribal Bass Records.
  • XL The First Chapter rave compilation is first album release on XL.
  • Gil Scott-Heron passes away.
  • Banned Smack My Bitch Up discussed during Prime Minister’s Question Time.
  • Vampire Weekend come third out of four at Columbia University Battle of the Bands, their first ever gig.

        •  Bobby Womack The Bravest Man In

  • The Universe wins Best Album at the 2012 Q Awards.

Celebrate the artist and highlight their seminal moment(s) in a way that engages and communicates to your audience.


• Consider the broad context in which illustration operates in the 21st Century. Illustrators now have far greater flexibility to utilize all manner of skills and approaches – from hand rendered typography to 3D model making, from hand torn collage to highly rendered CGI, from the single static image to the animated narrative.

• Don’t be restricted by medium but do remember that concept is key. Illustration is most powerful when driven by a strong concept.

• Your concept should work in both print and digital environments.

Target Audience

Music lovers.


• An ‘illustration’ for one A1 poster.

• One ‘illustration’ for an online exhibition. The spec for this is open – it could be static or moving and the size, etc. is up to you.

• Document and show your research and how you developed your ideas.


See ‘Preparing Your Entries’, included in your brief pack, for full format specs and submission guidance. Work will only be accepted in the formats outlined.

Main deliverables (mandatory)

• Submit your poster as one image (JPEG only).

• Submit your online exhibition piece either as one image (for static work), or as a video (for moving image, MPEG or MOV, max. 1 min).

• To show your research and development, submit either up to four images or video (max. 1 min).

Supporting Material (Optional)

If your online exhibition piece is interactive, you can submit it as supporting material.

illustrate Xl recordings – since 1989

crafts for design / illustration /
Print with digital / Moving iMage / typography

@DandADNewBlood #NewBloodAwards


19 March 2014 

All posts of this nature will come under a new category: Competition


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