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. PW Says:

    Ear Drum = Underrated

  2. WEST COAST JAY AKA JUSTICE FLOWTOMAYOR Says:

    Whitney flopped.
    *spits on cd*

  3. nation Says:

    i thought we already figured this out

    http://idolator.com/5260442/jay-z-has-a-secret-machine-working-in-his-art-department

  4. Los Says:

    how’s it feel to know they spent more time and creativity on the album’s art than the album’s music

  5. D. Billz Says:

    65K in the first week for Rae. On his own indie. Not bad at all.

  6. jredmond Says:

    ^booo. this album blasts. stop it

  7. WEST COAST JAY AKA JUSTICE FLOWTOMAYOR Says:

    how’s it feel to know they spent more time and creativity on the album’s art than the album’s music

    ^

    I’m sure this would be funny i

  8. Harlem World Says:

    Wow we’ve gone 2 days without Drake on Nah. I think Drake is needed in the c section to shift the issue away from Kanye.

  9. D. Billz Says:

    WEST COAST JAY AKA JUSTICE FLOWTOMAYOR Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:01 pm
    Whitney flopped.
    *spits on cd*

    ^ I can’t disrespect Whitney like that. She’s still a living legend who has broken all types of records and managed to do those numbers with no promotion.

  10. WEST COAST JAY AKA JUSTICE FLOWTOMAYOR Says:

    how’s it feel to know they spent more time and creativity on the album’s art than the album’s music

    ^

    I’m sure this would be funny if it made sense. Mindless hate is about as funny as Homeboys in Outer Space.

  11. AmpGeez a.k.a Roll That S#!t, Light That S#!t, Smoke That S#!T Says:

    Wow we’ve gone 2 days without Drake on Nah. I think Drake is needed in the c section to shift the issue away from Kanye.
    =========================================
    Ghey

  12. nation Says:

    >> Wow we’ve gone 2 days without Drake on Nah. I think Drake is needed in the c section to shift the issue away from Kanye.

    http://twitter.com/S_C_/status/4015307825

  13. WEST COAST JAY AKA JUSTICE FLOWTOMAYOR Says:

    I can’t disrespect Whitney like that. She’s still a living legend who has broken all types of records and managed to do those numbers with no promotion.

    ^

    Whinny Hutton > Whitney Houston (c) Bruh Man From The Fif’ Floor

    Her album sounds like something Fonzworth and Puffy listened to on their first date.

  14. JUlett Says:

    I saw this on 2dopeboyz… I see it took some time…

  15. AmpGeez a.k.a Roll That S#!t, Light That S#!t, Smoke That S#!T Says:

    ^ I can’t disrespect Whitney like that. She’s still a living basehead who has sniffed herself to brain damage and managed to do those numbers with a widely promoted tell all interview on Oprah.

    *fixed

  16. JUlett Says:

    ^ true mad funny, I wonder is she really still a lick (basehead)…

  17. mr. vengeance Says:

    ice cube = west coast GOAT

  18. D. Billz Says:

    Damn I forgot she was on Oprah and I JUST heard Baisden mention it a few hours. Yeah, if you can’t do numbers after an Oprah appearance then you’re done. She still a legend though.

  19. D. Billz Says:

    mr. vengeance Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:16 pm
    ice cube = west coast GOAT

    ^ 2nd to Snoop, like it or not.

  20. AmpGeez a.k.a Roll That S#!t, Light That S#!t, Smoke That S#!T Says:

    She’s a legend but she fucked herself up with years of drug abuse.

    She doesn’t even sound like herself.

    Track down that interview. She has all the tell tell mannerisms of a fiend.

  21. Tong Po Flo Says:

    That E is kinda ill, Em should of used that for his artwork or Evidence or Eternia or E-40 or EPMD or Eve or …um Elastic-man

  22. D. Billz Says:

    AmpGeez a.k.a Roll That S#!t, Light That S#!t, Smoke That S#!T Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:19 pm
    She’s a legend but she fucked herself up with years of drug abuse.

    She doesn’t even sound like herself.

    Track down that interview. She has all the tell tell mannerisms of a fiend.

    ^She definitely doesn’t sound like herself. I heard that new song on Baisden and her voice on the hook was eh. My comp is still in the ER but Im gonna check it out when I get it back. It was all downhill after The Preachers Wife.

    I bet Denzel hit that. And her being a Jersey chick I bet she was madd aggressive with it.

  23. D. Billz Says:

    Milk Carton Status: Meshell Ndegeocello

    She had a few joints too.

  24. BSEENANDHEARD Says:

    # Tong Po Flo Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    That E is kinda ill, Em should of used that for his artwork or Evidence or Eternia or E-40 or EPMD or Eve or …um Elastic-man
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    or 3…but no matter

  25. Harlem World Says:

    # D. Billz Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Milk Carton Status: Meshell Ndegeocello

    She had a few joints too.

    ^^^
    Hot night ft Talib Kweli>>>>

  26. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    the more i listen to BP3, the worse it gets and the more i listen to AG instead.

  27. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    Milk Carton Status: Meshell Ndegeocello

    She had a few joints too.

    ^

    Wild Night with Mellencamp had a nasty bass line

    and her remake of Bill Withers joint was mean too

    but shit, musicians aint popular no more, just singers, rappers, and homo rock bands (even tho she was a muncher herself)

  28. b-ease 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.

    ^^
    Word.

  29. Nah wrong Says:

    Jay-Z and The Beatles… Not since Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album have the two made such potent partners, this time dominating the HITS Album Sales chart.
    Thanks to a tireless promotion regimen culminating in a live national telecast from Madison Square Garden last Friday (9/11), the MTV VMAs and a performance on last night’s premiere of The Jay Leno Show, Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3, the first album for his own Roc Nation label through Atlantic Records, debuts at #1, with an impressive 465k+ in sales.

  30. D. Billz Says:

    *dapz glen bernie*

    @ shotclock/Harlem … Sitting By the Door should only be played in a dim room with the opposite sex and slightly inebriated off some wine.

    Yeah.

  31. S.S.BlockBurner Says:

    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)

  32. Rozco Says:

    jay debuted at number one the same week the beatles remastered catalogue was released? wowww…..

    this artwork was/is pretty dope though, although to be honest i kinda preferred the single artwork w/ jay and the three bars instead

  33. D. Billz Says:

    Smh @ WHUR playin the Bouncy version of Etta’s “At Last”. MADD disrespectful.

    Remember when Etta popped shit and outta nowhere she apologized. Them Knights don’t play that shit.

  34. b-ease Says:

    *daps da mayor*

  35. b-ease Says:

    Remember when Etta popped shit and outta nowhere she apologized

    ^^
    Yea, that shit was disheartening.

  36. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    Remember when Etta popped shit and outta nowhere she apologized. Them Knights don’t play that shit

    ^

    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.

  37. D. Billz Says:

    b-ease

    Etta shoulda just kept it G, though. Did they even holla at Etta about the Cadillac movie? I bet Della Reese wouldn’t have apologized.

  38. D. Billz Says:

    Hot damn WHUR be on point with the quiet storm lineup.

  39. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    Osama still making tracks……this nigga is recommending books now…smh.

    yo, if u ever believed anything they ever said about Bin laden, kill yourself.

  40. b-ease Says:

    Etta shoulda just kept it G, though. Did they even holla at Etta about the Cadillac movie? I bet Della Reese wouldn’t have apologized.

    ^^
    I don’t think they did, but she was more pissed at not being able to perform at the Inauguration.

  41. MAKING OF BP3 ARTWORK & INSPIRATION. - THE HIGHEST SOCIETY Says:

    [...] -via Nah Right [...]

  42. Harlem World Says:

    Osama still making tracks……this nigga is recommending books now…smh.
    ^^^
    Al Qaeda be promoting his videos/messages like they Gangsta Grillz tapes or some shit tho.
    BRAND NEW BIN LADEEEEEEEEENNNNN. Taliban goin innnnnnnnnn! *echoes*

  43. Jay-Z “The Blueprint³” The Making Off Cover Artwork | OnSMASH Says:

    [...] cover and the inspiration also more info on the the creation of it from Dan Tobin Smith. Shouts to Dre for extra [...]

  44. Harlem World Says:

    Bin Laden was mixtape dj of the year from 01-03.

  45. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    BRAND NEW BIN LADEEEEEEEEENNNNN. Taliban goin innnnnnnnnn! *echoes*

    ^

    LMBAO

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

  46. D. Billz Says:

    b-ease Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 9:06 pm
    Etta shoulda just kept it G, though. Did they even holla at Etta about the Cadillac movie? I bet Della Reese wouldn’t have apologized.

    ^^
    I don’t think they did, but she was more pissed at not being able to perform at the Inauguration.

    ^Like Shotclock said, she had every right to be. And furthermore, Bouncy should have been classy enough to suggest it. Yet she comes to the rescue of some new snowflake on the scene, i.e. mammy. Crazy.

  47. D. Billz Says:

    Harlem World Says:
    September 15th, 2009 at 9:10 pm
    Bin Laden was mixtape dj of the year from 01-03.

    ^That nigga got two Justo awards on the low.

  48. Bricks Says:

    WOW. Some of you desperately need to get Raekwons dick out of your mouth. The man had one decent album when I was a kid which in actuality was moreso a compilation album.

    I cannot stress how extraordinarily overrated OB4CL2 is. He is a mediocre rapper and lyricist. His subject matter is mostly fictitious and extremely redundant (if I have to hear him rhyme mango and kango one more time I’m liable to hurt someone). Some of the beats are dope. That is about it.

    Yet you people treat the album like its a classic or something. Rofl…smh… I guess when you stans hop on someones dick it really gets lodged in your ass.

  49. b-ease Says:

    @ billz

    100% agreed, Beyonce’s a wack broad for that.

  50. D. Billz Says:

    Yo, I bet if they woulda tried to get Keyshia to do an Aretha song she woulda bodied somethin.

    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.

  51. "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!

  52. eric mangini Says:

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

  53. Harlem World Says:

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

  54. Harlem World Says:

    I used to stan for keyshia badly.

  55. 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.

  56. eric mangini Says:

    youtube.com/watch?v=vch-Z9ccHTk

    ^^Tell me if yall like this?

  57. 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.

  58. Ghost Writer Says:

    What up?

  59. 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?

  60. Ghost Writer Says:

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

  61. 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?

  62. Ghost Writer Says:

    Harlem World Says:

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

    ^
    co-sign…I love A. Keys too

  63. The Shot Clock aka Nahdebayor Says:

    tinyurl.com/nwmqnh

    ^

    *dead*

    Punky Brewster is serious.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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

  67. Laf Legend Says:

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

  68. eric mangini Says:

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

  69. Ghost Writer Says:

    Shouts to Rae….those numbers are good

  70. eric mangini Says:

    youtube.com/user/Songdreamer

  71. 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.

  72. S.S.BlockBurner Says:

    Shouts to Rae….those numbers are good

    ^
    for chingy maybe

  73. 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

  74. 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

  75. 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

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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*

  82. 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”*

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  87. 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

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

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  89. 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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