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Vinyl Album Artwork Themes

Do you want your favorite band to sound the same on every album? I guess it depends if you’re AC/DC or not, but usually I find it more interesting when a band grows and experiments on each album. When it comes to album cover artwork, however, I think it’s incredibly powerful when a band keeps a common artistic motif across their discography. And when it comes to displaying a band’s albums using our vinyl record frames, artistic consistency can look incredible.

I have to thank Erik from Diest, Belgium for inspiring this blog post. Erik was one of our Kickstarter backers, so I want to thank him for that, and for also posting this great picture of his vinyl record display on Instagram, featuring The Smiths.

Erik from Belgium on Instagram

Look at how great those albums fit together in a display. Beautiful. To be honest, I am not too familiar with the Smiths discography, so I was immediately impressed with their artistic vision. It makes me want to go and listen to the entire Smiths catalogue, to try and understand how these stylized photos of models tie into their sound and creative direction. Very powerful, in my opinion.

I also want to highlight a few other bands that have this thematic album cover artwork thing happening. The first that comes to mind is one of my favorite bands of all time, Young Widows. They are a heavy and introspective band, and I think the album covers really emphasize the album’s theme and mood effectively. If you like your music loud, I highly recommend giving them a listen.

Young Widows Art

Young Widows Album Art

 
Some more examples are Belle and Sebastian with their use of single color photographs. Another great example is Iron Maiden, who use a common art theme, and Eddie the Head in particular, to tie their discography together.

As a side note, we’ve really cranked up our Instagram account, so if you’re interested in seeing some awesome vinyl record displays, please, follow us on Instagram.

Rock on, Steve

RoW Vinyl Record Holders – now available Internationally

Hi, my name is Cameron and I’ve been working with Steve here at Records On Walls for the last few months. Steve brought me in to help get the international operations up and running. We’ve had a heck of a time getting everything running smoothly, but it’s been great hearing people around the world talking about our frames.

It’s also great seeing the pictures people send us of their awesome displays. I’ve updated our image gallery to include a bunch of them; there are some seriously impressive setups out there. We’re already getting some pictures from our international customers like Nick from New Zealand and his wall of Foo Fighters, thanks Nick!Nick from NZ

I also have to thank Ian for sending us a picture of his incredible basement hangout! Ian basement

If you’ve got a record display that you’re proud of, please send some pics to recordsonwalls@gmail.com or share them on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks,
Cameron (and Steve!)

For the Love of the Vinyl Record Bargain Bin

There have been several updates in RoW land, and I want to share them with you. First, I hope that all the past customers are enjoying their Records On Walls vinyl record displays. And if you’re new to the site / product, thanks for stopping by. I launched a Kickstarter campaign for the vinyl record frame that successfully met it’s target in December of last year. The goal of the campaign was to make some tool revisions and to expand the product availability internationally. So far, my orginal tool has been modified and will be starting production in the next week. And internationally, I’m just finalizing some agreements and should have some more news soon. All exciting stuff!

To get to the title of this post, I love the vinyl record bargain bin. It’s probably the reason this product exists. My record collection started with hand me downs, but after I was hooked, I started heading to the vinyl record shops and thrift stores. I think I’m different from most collectors, because when I shop for vinyl, I am not usually looking for anything in particular, or even familiar. I want to discover music, in a semi-blind fashion. I look at the art, take a peek at the back to see if I recognize the label, producer, musician, or whatever, and then look at the price tag to see if it’s worth the gamble. Because that’s what the bargain bin really is, a gamble. Very rarely will you find a Pink Floyd record that somebody mistakenly put there. It’s all about the random, largely forgotten, albums that nobody wants. And for me, it’s golden.

There is little I like more in life than to bring home a bag of records that I purchased for the album art, and to spend the afternoon on an adventure of discovery. It’s like getting on a bus not knowing the destination. It’s true that maybe only one in five records will ever get a second spin, but when you find that forgotten album that hits the mark for you personally, there are very few musical experience out there like it. You have found something great that was almost lost in the sea of music and the sands of time.

Unfortunately, quality bargain bins are harder to find these days, and the ticket to ride is getting higher and higher. But I had a great experience at one of my favourite record stores, Rotate This in Toronto, a couple of weeks ago. They have a bin with new (and unwanted) vinyl records for as low as $2 each. Awesome! Why wouldn’t you spend a few bucks to get on that magic bus. So I thought I’d share a song from a record I just recently found, by a long forgotten band, the Mirrors. I hope you enjoy, and please don’t hestitate to drop me a line. Thanks again, Steve

My Story

Steve HolubHi, this is Steve Holub, and I’m a music enthusiast, vinyl record collector, and the inventor of Records On Walls. A few years ago I ran into a problem. I had a great collection of records, and I wanted to use the album art as a display in my apartment, rather than just storing them in record crates. But everywhere I looked, all that was available was either standard ‘frames’ (which made the records inaccessible) or over-priced displays. I wanted something that was simple, stylish, affordable, and let me access the records quickly. And that’s how the idea for Records On Walls came about.

Going from idea to product was one of the most difficult, and rewarding, challenges of my life. At the time, I was working 9 to 6 as an IT consultant, which is a far cry from the world of consumer product development. My wife had just given birth to our first child, and I was barely home to spend time with them. I desperately wanted a way out of the office / commuter grind, and thought that I should try to do something about it.

After the first initial sketches, with my friend Paul’s help, we started prototyping with wood. And then I decided to try out plastic, to see how the final product might look. I had never worked with plastic before, so figuring out the different material, and ways to bend and form them, was quite the process (and in retrospect, largely unnecessary). After writing my own provisional patent, I was ready to try and find a short-run manufacturer. This was not an easy task, because most shops wouldn’t even return my emails, but eventually I managed to start a conversation with a Toronto area factory that would be willing to work with me, and my ‘unproven’ product.

Remember, this all happened just before ‘crowdfunding’ and low cost 3d prototypes had really taken off. And to be honest, although they existed, I was completely unaware of them. If I had been, I would have been over the moon with excitement. To be able to prototype, validate an idea (via Kickstarter or otherwise), and cover the initial production run would have been amazing. Unfortunately, I just missed the revolution, and had to carry the burden of risk on my own shoulders.

In September of 2010, after a few minor design iterations, I was ready to launch the first version of Records On Walls. To be honest, I didn’t have any huge expectations because I knew it was a niche product, and I had no idea how to market this thing. Fortunately, I managed to get a lot of positive feedback, and sales started to slowly grow. As time passed, customers started sending me some images and that’s when I realized that the product was much cooler than even I, as the inventor, thought it was. People started creating these amazing displays that really showcased their tastes and styles in their various spaces. I was so impressed. The product was no longer ‘mine’. It was the customers who made it amazing, and for that, I will always be incredibly grateful.

Overtime, I realized that there was a shortcoming in my original design. I have only collected North American vinyl, and didn’t realize that some European releases and some older albums were slightly smaller than the standard North American LP. That’s why I’m working towards a new version of the product, which will universally fit all 12 inch vinyl record albums. Since the start of this business, I’ve received numerous requests from all over the world to ship them this well priced record frame. It is my goal to improve the design of this product, and to be able to warehouse them internationally. For a guy who’s been packing and shipping boxes from his basement for the last few years, I can’t tell you how excited I am about the prospect of being able to ship them everywhere.

Thank you for taking interest in my story. There is some big news around the corner, so I thought now would be a good time to tell my tale – I hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you,
Steve Holub

New Website Launched!

I’m a little behind the times, and have finally rebuilt the site to be more… AMAZING! Other than the design changes, there are two main improvements. Everything is now mobile-friendly, and secondly, there is now a proper shopping cart rather than just a buy now button. So now you can mix and match your colors, and can order the exact quantity you want (before it was all in increments of 4 record frames). Special shout out to Andrew at Resonant Studios for the guidance.

As well, my blogging has been a little slow lately. Not totally my fault, because my wife keeps getting pregnant, and gave birth to our third child, and first daughter(!), a month and a half ago. It’s pretty cool. But that trend will change, because there will be some news from Records On Walls land in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

And most importantly, I want to thank all the customers who have sent me pictures, or who have shared them on Facebook, in the last few months. It’s truly appreciated, and I can’t thank you enough. When I first invented these record frames, I didn’t really anticipate the kinds of awesome things that people would do with them. And I think that’s really the best feature of the frame – the customers. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true. It’s YOU guys who make Records On Walls look good. I’ll close up with a few pictures. If you have any suggestions or questions about anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Cheers, Steve

Records On Walls Partners with KISS

Gene Simmons Fan John

Now how that for a catchty tagline? Unfortunately, none of it is true. However, I did receive some awesome pictures of the record frames from Kiss Clan founding member, John Friedrich. John and I shared a great email discussion about displaying records from your favorite bands, and especially about the one and only KISS. Below are two pictures, one of John dressed as Gene Simmons, and one of his wicked record display. As a KISS fan myself (I painted my face as Gene for a ‘battle of the bands’ in high school), I am totally impressed with how awesome their body of work looks on a wall. Nicely done.

kiss-vinyl-on-display

Thank you John for sharing your photos. Please remember to visit his KISS fan page. I’ll leave you with John’s favorite KISS youtube video – God of Thunder. Enjoy!