NPR logo Gillian Welch: Cover Art The Old-Fashioned Way

Gillian Welch: Cover Art The Old-Fashioned Way

Have you seen this cover art for Gillian Welch's new album, The Harrow and the Harvest? Better yet, have you felt it? The intricate line drawing of Welch and her musical partner, Dave Rawlings, is embossed into paper so thick it could double as a coaster.

Courtesy of the artist
Gillian Welch "The Harrow And The Harvest"
Courtesy of the artist

The singer was going for a vintage approach, calling on a little help from Aardvark Letterpress in Los Angeles. The video below provides a close-up look at how they did it.


For 43 years, Aardvark Letterpress — which is owned and run by Luis Ocon and his sons Brooks and Cary — has been doing things the old-fashioned way, using metal-plated letterpress machines to make fancy invitations, business cards and, now, album covers.

Welch and Rawlings may not have done the printing themselves, but the duo did put out its own how-to video. This one shows how you can make the CD look a little more aged with just a cup of black coffee and a little water.

Feeling crafty? Check out the video below and make your very own one-of-a-kind coffee-stained cover.


Listen to "Scarlet Town" from The Harrow and the Harvest.

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