JUNO Categories That Are Secretly Awesome: Recording Package of the Year

Posted on the 29 January 2015 by Jennifervillamere
When the 2015 JUNO nominations were announced on Tuesday, you probably heard the highlights and were underwhelmed.
There is a lot of Nickelback.
And there are a lot of categories jammed with contenders that have nothing to do with each other except a common nationality. I liken it to those awful "Women in Song" compilations that threw together work from disparate artists linked only by their gender. The result in both cases is incongruous and off-putting, jolting and confusing.
Take, for example, the Album of the Year category, where Leonard Cohen is up against Hedley. It's not even like comparing apples to oranges, it's like comparing apples to spaceships.
In short, it's bananas.
But fuck it. There are some cool categories and some amazing, amazing nominees and we're going to be poking all those things with a sharp stick over the next six weeks in the lead up to JUNO Week, which kicks off on March 9. And we're starting with this little-known category, Recording Package of the Year.
This award recognises original graphics on CDs, DVDs and vinyl album covers and it's presented to the art director, designer, illustrator and/or photographer (a team of up to four people can claim the award).
Criteria for judging include:
  1. The strength and cohesiveness of the design concept across the whole package, including the disc 
  2. Impact on the intended market 
  3. Marketing potential, i.e. the ability to translate the continuity of the design from package to merchandising
Here are this year's nominees:
JUNO categories that are secretly awesome: Recording Package of the Year
Album: Bry Webb's FREE WILL
Nominees: Alex Durlak (Art Director/Designer), Jeff McMurrich and Bry Webb (Art Directors)
Label: Idée Fixe*Outside
Alex Durlak is a Toronto based artist, musician and publisher. He has a couple of small businesses including Standard Form, a print shop that works with and for the vanguard in Canadian art, and Perish Publishing, which focuses on the books that feature the work of practicing contemporary artists. He’s a co-owner of Idée Fixe Records and naturally he’s in charge of the label’s design and aesthetic stuff.
JUNO categories that are secretly awesome: Recording Package of the Year
Album: The Lost Fingers' WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Nominees: Caroline Blanchette (Art Director), Martin Tremblay (Photographer/Designer), Byron Mikaloff (Designer)
Label: Tandem*Sony
Caroline Blanchette is a veteran graphic designer and artistic director who has won an asstonne of awards nationally and internationally. She's worked for lots of hot international ad agencies, including Cossette, LG2, BBDO MTL and Nolin Branding & Design.
JUNO categories that are secretly awesome: Recording Package of the Year Album: Pup's PUP
Nominees: Menno Versteeg (Art Director), Zack Mykula (Designer), Jason Bartell (Illustrator), Yoshi Cooper (Photographer)
Label: Royal Mountain*Universal
Menno Versteeg is the singer, songwriter and art director for three time JUNO Award nominated indie rock band Hollerado. Last year, he was nominated in this category for Hollerado's White Paint. He's also the guy behind Hollerado’s music videos. And now he does stuff for Pup, too.
JUNO categories that are secretly awesome: Recording Package of the Year Album: Steve Bell's PILGRIMAGE
Nominees: Roberta Hansen (Art Director/Designer/Illustrator), Mike Latschislaw (Photographer)
Label: Signpost*Outside
Prairie-born designer Roberta Hansen has worked both in an advertising agency and as a freelance designer. She's been nominated by the WCMAs for Album Art of the Year for her work on Let It Lie by The Bros. Landreth. Other music clients include JP Hoe, Del Barber, Blake Burgland and Chris Ulrich.
JUNO categories that are secretly awesome: Recording Package of the Year
Album: Timber Timbre's HOT DREAMS
Nominees: Taylor Kirk (Art Director/Designer/Photographer), Robyn Kotyk (Designer), Laura Margaret Ramsay (Photographer)
Label: Arts & Crafts*Universal
Taylor Kirk is Timber Timbre's lead singer. Vice asked him what makes him comfortable. He replied, "Whiskey, usually." You can read the whole interview here.
Which recording package would you pick as the winner? Leave a comment and let us know.

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