Being under quarantine doesn't seem to put a damper on creativity, judging from the outpouring of ideas over the last few days around promoting safety in the time of coronavirus, which include reimagined brand logos, cautionary screensavers and now, album sleeves. Paco Conde and Beto Fernandez, industry vets and co-founders of socially-minded creative shop Activista in L.A., decided to apply the rules of social distancing to classic album cover art.
The Beatles’s “Abbey Road” cover now sees the band members separated by lengths as they stride across the street; Bono,The Edge and the rest of U2 keep safe distances from each other on “The Joshua Tree” art and Blondie’s 1976 debut album depicts the band backed away from Debbie Harry and each other in a spaced out formation.
Conde and Fernandez are featuring the reworked covers on a dedicated site that allows visitors to see "before" and "after" versions of the art. They started the project last week when the idea of “social distancing” became even more prominent in media outlets and as local leaders put more mandates in place to ensure people stay at home as much as possible. “We noticed no one was doing it,” Conde says. “In L.A. there are long lines to access the supermarkets, but no one is respecting the distance. So we wondered if something from pop culture could help to make it simple to get and visually interesting.”
Conde and Fernandez previously served at agencies including Anomaly L.A., BBH and Ogilvy Brazil, and were behind award-winning campaigns like Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” and Burger King’s “Proud Whopper.”
“As creators, we have always used our ideas to help brands provoke real change,” says Conde. “Now more than ever, all of us need to use our talent, skills, experience resources or expertise to help beat coronavirus and its consequences. It shouldn’t be a trend, but an obligation.”
The pair are currently working on how to extend the idea into action and are currently in talks with a charitable organization about the campaign.