In direct opposition to iconic graphic designer Peter Saville, who famously claimed record sleeve design is a “dead art,” Designing for the First Impression documents some of the best sleeve and event flyers from designers currently plying their trade. So far we’ve taken a vibrant deep dive through Patrick Savile‘s pastel futurism, all the way to the riso printing techniques of Bristol-based design house Atelier Superplus.

Now on to part four, we turn our attention to another trio putting in the hours to ensure record labels and event promoters have a visual identity that isn’t only head-turning, but also distinctive and enduring.

Check the series so far:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Jonathan Castro

Jonathan Castro‘s distinctive brand of “design fiction” has produced some of the most eye-catching artwork currently doing the rounds. Fascinated by ancient cultures and digital utopias, the Peruvian designer’s output actively seeks out possible futures – as mentioned in an interview with It’s Nice That back in 2017, he’s particularly interested in taking “visual ideas and aesthetics from one context and put them in another and through process see how this new aesthetic lives in a new hybrid context.”

While he lives in Amsterdam, Castro’s futurist aesthetic is informed by the vibrant colours of his native Peru. Rooted more abstraction than realism, stings for Boiler Room and artwork for Bristol’s Simple Things festival push the use of colour, space and typography into new, exciting directions.



Operating under the name cm-dp, Cecilia Martinez’s portfolio boasts an ever-growing body of work. Principal designer for all things Lobster Theremin, not to mention quite a few loosely affiliated projects, if you follow the label or live in London, chances are you’ve seen her creations firsthand.

The London-based art director and graphic designer currently stands as one of the foremost purveyors of that cut and paste fanzine-esque aesthetic, but Martinez’s influences go far and beyond what has become an increasingly hackneyed style in event flyer design. Whether it’s label artwork for Secretsundaze or a flyer for the revered Cooking With Palms Trax parties, each project enjoys a clear visual identity distinct from the last.


Check Morris

Centred around the disciplines of art direction, typography and illustration, Check Morris has been responsible for the recent visual identity of an If-Only favourite in Zaltan’s Antinote imprint (just check this recent premiere of a D.K. track on the label). Founded by Mathias Pol and Antinote artist Nicolas Motte back in 2013 the Parisian design house has counted I’m A Cliché and Warp among its clients.

Striving to approach each project with a fresh set of eyes, no two CM designs are quite the same. The work they’ve done for Antinote is testament of that too, channelling everything from Bruce Lee to the Summer of Love.

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