Video: The Making Of BP3’s Artwork

Related: BP3 First Week: 465,448

Says photographer Dan Tobin Smith to ItsNiceThat.com:

Greg Burke, the creative director on the project at Atlantic Records had seen the Letter ‘E’ I had shot with the set designer Nicola Yeoman and I guess he had it in the back of his mind when he was thinking of ideas for Jay-Z’s new artwork for Blueprint 3. I think Greg and Jay-Z had lots of ideas about what the album meant and it seemed to be about taking it back to the source, in terms of the music itself and then subsequently the artwork. For the album and the idea was it was very much about the music and all the things that make music. The 3 is represented by 3 bars which is of course the old way of writing ‘3’ so that seemed to work really nicely with the idea behind the album and the set design that evolved. We all liked the idea that the installation was almost machine like, like all these things were interlinked. That’s why everything is packed and jumbled together. Like it had kind of grown out of this corner.

I think it was a brave approach for Jay-Z as all his previous albums have had him on them. I love still life, and the way I shoot is quite old school. It took 3 days to shoot, was all shot on 10×8 inch film, so the quality in the whites is fantastic, so much subtle tone. We worked long and hard on the colour work on the post and even in a single page mag advert I can see that effort. You could blow the image up to the size of a building and it would still hold up. It seems the album is about that old school crafted production so its nice that that same method went into the shoot.

The reaction has been really good. Kanye put it on his blog which was nice. I’m sure some people want to see Jay-Z on the cover but at least they will talk about it. I love the idea of this kind of still life photography being so looked at. When they see the rest of the shoot for the singles I think it will grow on some of the people who were maybe less enamoured with it. There has obviously been comparisons to the letter E, some people not realising it was me who shot it! It was great that we shot it and the whole experience was great, everybody worked together really well.

dan-tobin-smith-letter-e
“Letter E” that inspired BP3 art


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89 Responses to “Video: The Making Of BP3’s Artwork”

  1. "A" Chick _ I'll Never B done I'm so Rare Says:

    oh shit. hell yeah. it was mad disrespectful of Obama not to have Etta sing her own damn song…I was riding with that old relic too.
    ————
    Thats what I said too until I heard Etta….she don’t got it no’ mo!

  2. eric mangini Says:

    This shit is not that hot to not have been photoshopped..

  3. Harlem World Says:

    Keyshia Cole>>>>>>>>>>>>

  4. Harlem World Says:

    I used to stan for keyshia badly.

  5. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    Speaking of which, this chick from Dallas that used to work at my old gig said niggas still be sweatin her big ass, both young and old. She said Aretha had niggas at the Essence Festival tryin to holla. To this day I still can’t fathom it and laugh when I think about it. She do got some big ass titties though.

    ^

    *dead*

    thems grandma titties son. iiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllll!! (c) Run This Town

    niggas will fuck anything, i swear.

  6. eric mangini Says:

    youtube.com/watch?v=vch-Z9ccHTk

    ^^Tell me if yall like this?

  7. D. Billz Says:

    Keyshia is one of the rare women who got tig bitties and no ass that I let slide. She got them redeemable hood qualities I admire. If she wasn’t famous I’d pitch in for that nail school certificate.

  8. Ghost Writer Says:

    What up?

  9. D. Billz Says:

    Harlem

    Me too chief. I stopped caring around the time she had that one video with that clown ass Chink Santana nigga. Why babygirl, why?

  10. Ghost Writer Says:

    I thought BP3 would’ve sold more but oh well…they did one hell of a job promoting it

  11. Ghost Writer Says:

    eric mangini Says:

    September 15th, 2009 at 9:23 pm
    youtube.com/watch?v=vch-Z9ccHTk

    ^^Tell me if yall like this?

    ^
    What the hell? Is that you or something?

  12. Ghost Writer Says:

    Harlem World Says:

    September 15th, 2009 at 9:21 pm
    Keyshia Cole>>>>>>>>>>>>

    ^
    co-sign…I love A. Keys too

  13. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    tinyurl.com/nwmqnh

    ^

    *dead*

    Punky Brewster is serious.

  14. Harlem World Says:

    Me too chief. I stopped caring around the time she had that one video with that clown ass Chink Santana nigga. Why babygirl, why

    ^^
    I hear maino and jeezy smashed? Ol’ quick to fall in love wit a street nigga and make albums bout it type.

  15. b-ease Says:

    @ billz

    I’ve had excellent pussy experiences with top heavy chicks that lack real ass. Too many to be a coincidence. I’d recommend it.

  16. eric mangini Says:

    ^
    What the hell? Is that you or something?

    ^^^haha..naw nigga quit looking for dates on NR..That’s this shorty I met like in 05 on some social site..bumped into her on youtube..some dude took one of her accapella youtube vids and added music to it..I like her sound tho..shit on some old school shit..remembered cause Billz n em was talking about Etta

  17. Laf Legend Says:

    Man that album is still Fiyah very interesting beat selection and the samples were golden….Great Job overall!!!

  18. eric mangini Says:

    Thought I’d give her the ole NR “once thru”.

  19. Ghost Writer Says:

    Shouts to Rae….those numbers are good

  20. eric mangini Says:

    youtube.com/user/Songdreamer

  21. b-ease Says:

    Me too chief. I stopped caring around the time she had that one video with that clown ass Chink Santana nigga. Why babygirl, why

    ^^
    I hear maino and jeezy smashed? Ol’ quick to fall in love wit a street nigga and make albums bout it type.

    ^^
    She was in a relationship with Jeezy for minute. She ducked with Zab too, a chick I know from NY was at a hotel party with them one nite and that nugga kicked her out the room like she was any other hoodrat. Which I guess, if you think about, she really is.

  22. S.S.BlockBurner Says:

    Shouts to Rae….those numbers are good

    ^
    for chingy maybe

  23. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    kicked her out the room like she was any other hoodrat. Which I guess, if you think about, she really is.

    ^

    it’s all in the tats

  24. Ghost Writer Says:

    eric mangini Says:

    September 15th, 2009 at 9:33 pm
    ^
    What the hell? Is that you or something?

    ^^^haha..naw nigga quit looking for dates on NR..That’s this shorty I met like in 05 on some social site..bumped into her on youtube..some dude took one of her accapella youtube vids and added music to it..I like her sound tho..shit on some old school shit..remembered cause Billz n em was talking about Etta

    ^
    Looking for dates on NR? na homie you got me confused with someone else…I wasn’t even looking at shorty like that just thought it was random you post that so I asked if it was you…but I now see why you post it…yeah I like her vibe too…its dope

  25. jredmond Says:

    S.S.BlockBurner Says:

    September 15th, 2009 at 8:52 pm
    so that fat foney kingpin (no ross) couldn’t sell a fif of jay’s shit (& won’t everrrr reach gold status)

    *vaguely remembers all the OB4CLII > BP3 talk*

    what we talkin bout?

    what we talkin bout fiction? (OB4CLII > BP3)
    or we talkin bout fact? (gold in 2 wks > can only hope 2 see 1/2 of that)

    ^this fella should be smoted

  26. b-ease Says:

    S.S.BlockBurner Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 9:38 pm
    Shouts to Rae….those numbers are good

    ^
    for chingy maybe

    ^^
    No, it’s good for an indie LP that had little to none non-net promo.

  27. D. Billz Says:

    @Harlem… I knew Jeezy smashed but Maino too? Smh.

    @bease… Now that I think about I don’t think I’ve ever had a slim, big breasted, flattie girl. I’ll make sure to try that.

  28. eric mangini Says:

    GW..those wasn’t shots nigga..jokes..I know you get all your dates from craigslist homie..Yea the homegirl SongDreamer..I love her voice..all she need is a tuba and a bass guitar…some ole cotton comes to harlem shit.

  29. Harlem World Says:

    Has anyone ever been to a dmx concert? Worth every cent. Damn. I would willingly depart with my money if he was to perform again.

  30. Jersey*made*me Says:

    SMFH@ niggas with that Hov is old this and that,yet they slurping Wu and ALL them niggas got gray goaties and shit.

  31. kelito-vision Says:

    The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    September 15th, 2009 at 9:12 pm
    BRAND NEW BIN LADEEEEEEEEENNNNN. Taliban goin innnnnnnnnn! *echoes*

    ^

    LMBAO

    dont forget the silencer effects *pewn pewn pewn (body drop)*

    ^^^^

    *dead*

  32. WEST COAST JAY AKA JUSTICE FLOWTOMAYOR Says:

    LMBAO

    dont forget the silencer effects *pewn pewn pewn (body drop)*

    ^

    *drops suicide bombs over “Death of Autotune”*

  33. Making Of Jay-Z’s Blueprint III Album Cover » Hip Hop Revenues Says:

    […] that we shot it and the whole experience was great, everybody worked together really well. Props: NahRight via ItsNiceThat Tags: […]

  34. [Video] Making of “The Blueprint 3″ Album Cover « On221.com | [On-two-two-one] Says:

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  36. The Making Of BP3’s Artwork | Inqmnd Blog Says:

    […] it all came to be in the end.  See more images of Dan Tobin Smith’s work after the jump.  Source / […]

  37. oatz Says:

    # D. Billz Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    65K in the first week for Rae. On his own indie. Not bad at all.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    it was 120k in his first week but jay-z sold 476k in his first week and he is indie as will

  38. Making Of Blueprint 3 Artwork « Cool Sh*t! Says:

    […] Photographer Dan Tobin Smith worked with Jay-Z on the cover and explains the process behind the cover in his interview with It’s Nice That. via Nah Right […]

  39. kedordu Says:

    OB4CL2 >>>>> BLUEPRINT 3IN ALL CATEGORIES
    SFG >>> BLUEPRINT 3
    DEEPER THAN RAP >>>BLUEPRINT 3
    ESTATIC >>>>BLUEPRINT 3
    JUST BECAUSE THEY CAME OUT ON THESAME DAY DOESNT MEAN THEY SHOULD BE IN THE SAME SENTENCE .

    the album hov put out was probably a little better than kingdom come only cause the best songs on bp3 are better than the best songs on KC . the worst songs on BP3 are better at being worse than the songs on KC .. but BP3 takes it .

    if BP3 was like this it woulda been his 4th real classic (reasonable doubt , hardknock , blueprint , )
    THE BLUEPRINT FOR BLUEPRINT 3

    1 DOA
    2 BROKLYN GO HARD
    3 run this town
    4 real as it gets
    5 what we talking about (interlude) without the gay chorus
    6 dead presidents 3
    7 already home
    8 a star is born
    9 so ambitious
    10 empire state of mind
    11 thank you

    bonus cut : when the money goes , swagger like us remix

    OB4CL2 IS NEAR DAMN FLAWLESS .. 22 TRACKS IN .. ONLY FLAW IS THAT IT WASNT A DOUBLE ALBUM AND DIDNT HAVE WALK WIT ME AND CRIMINOLOGY2 ON IT …DOESNT MATTER WHAT THE FUCK U THINK OR HOW MUCH IT SELLS ..

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