Zeke Duhon is Nashville Underground Management‘s flagship artist. When we first started working with him, we were amazed at how much he had: talent; an image; a surprisingly large (and good) catalogue of music. But no website (well, MySpace… so no website).
He signed a publishing deal within a few months of moving to Nashville, and immediately set to recording his commercial debut EP. So while he was doing that, I was getting him branded. The ZD logo was done by one of his friends, but he didn’t need that as a specific branding tool. My goal was to get him a badass website and album art.
First, I made something of a starter website, just so he had the presence and some links. Once the album was done and ready to be released, I created the single art for his song “Faith And Hope,” and the EP album art, then incorporated that imagery into his site.
(THE SELF-TITLED EP)
The full EP was one of the most simple concepts ever, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t sweat over every little detail. The idea we came up with was minimalistic (obviously), and we liked the idea of negative space. I arduously played with color schemes and layouts, and Zeke gravitated towards what became the final result almost immediately.
(“FAITH AND HOPE” SINGLE ART)
The single art for Faith And Hope was almost the opposite as the EP art. We had the concept and layout in mind before I ever started creating. We were planning to release the video at the same time as the single, so I modeled the single art after the video concept. You’ll also notice I added his album art into the TV screen.
(“FAITH AND HOPE” CONCEPT ART)
Sometimes you get inspired, start playing, and it just doesn’t come to fruition. This was a concept I did for the song Faith And Hope long before it was released – even before we knew it was the lead single. It turned out this design wasn’t exactly right for the project, but I always liked it.
The first thing I wanted to do with Zeke’s website was come up with a color scheme. I used the primary colors from both the single art and album art, then explored compatible colors in order to create a subtly-varied palette.
The goal of developing a color palette was so each section could be unique, yet still congruent. Zeke always has great photos, so I wanted to incorporate many of those as well, strategically overlaid by the colors. Finally, I chose a large serif font for each section header since most of the other type was very generic sans-serif.
This site is a great example of a multiple-page website, but utilizing the technique I call “teaser one-sheet homepage.” This way, a visitor doesn’t need to leave the homepage for important information, but can to view Zeke’s bio, photos, videos and music.