The Brand Union creates album artwork


The front man for South African band The Dirty Skirts, Jeremy de Tolly, recently released his first solo album, Piano Nocturnes, with nothing but a Bosendorfer Grand Piano. De Tolly asked The Brand Union to design the visual language for his album with a brief to create artwork that suited the music.

The album is something that cannot quite be categorised as the sound is “completely unique and serves the purpose of expressing emotions that have no name’. The music is described as very atmospheric, slow, gentle ambient piano music.

De Tolly was looking for something that fitted both his personal brand, as well as the sound of the album. Also, since this was Piano Nocturnes Volume One, the art direction needed to be able to work across a series of albums – to create a consistent design language for the Piano Nocturnes series. The need was to create something that is as ‘abstract’ as the music itself.

The Brand Union went into a process of exploring the music, Jeremy de Tolly’s brand and the purpose behind it. They always challenge themselves to find a brand’s purpose and make sure the purpose is communicated through all the brand touch points. They needed to find the visual embodiment of De Tolly as a brand as well as the embodiment of his music. 

The team explored the music and various art directions together with De Tolly. A plethora of very different executions were presented throughout the search for the perfect resonation with the album, until they finally found “The One’. The process of going through all the various art directions served the purpose, not only of finding a visual identity for the album, but also in deepening De Tolly’s understanding of what he was wanting to communicate through his music.

The final result is best described in De Tolly’s own words. He says: “I love the album artwork. I think it coheres beautifully with the music. I find it immediately identifiable despite being very subtle and abstract. I think the artwork is a great piece of work. I am very grateful that The Brand Union took this project on. They did an exceptional job. Essentially the process of working with The Brand Union really helped me identify what I wanted to say from a visual perspective.’


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