I’ve been working on a new CD for the car in dribs and drabs over the past month. I finally stopped fretting over the track list yesterday, made the final playlist once and for all, and burned a copy to CD. Within an hour both of my kids had seen the new “Summer Road Trip” CD and told me it had a terrible title. Eamonn went so far as to tell me that all of my playlist titles are terrible. “You ruin your CDs with those awful titles,” were, I believe, his actual words.
While normally I would take their opinions with a grain of salt, I kind of agreed with them in this case. Summer Road Trip was awfully generic.
So, I threw a few other options at them. Exit 142? Get in the Van? Where are we Going?
I finally settled on Windows Down Volume Up, the boys agreed it was an improvement, and then I re-made my cover image to reflect the new title.
This cover image was a lot of fun to do. I started with this picture I took on our way home from Ocean City last month, and then I Photoshopped the daylights out of it
First, I gave it a Violet-Yellow Split-Tone treatment at half strength to make it look a little vintagey.
Then, I used the clone brush tool to get rid of the building and the cars, and replace them with trees. I wasn’t particularly careful with this, but most people aren’t going to be scrutinizing this photo enough to notice. That’s the beauty of cloning trees. You can pretty much plop them down on top of anything, and it looks perfectly natural to the casual observer.
After that, things really got fun.
I decided I wanted to add the CD title to the Garden State Parkway sign, and I wanted it to look like it belonged there. Did you know that there is a font out there that was designed specifically for signage like this, and that most states and many foreign countries use it? If you’re ever looking to Photoshop your own road signs, Highway Gothic should do the trick.
So I made a rounded rectangle for the new sign, pulling colors from the NORTH sign. To make it a bit more realistic, I tilted it a bit, added a subtle texture similar to that of the other signs on the pole, and copy/pasted the screws from the NORTH sign onto my rectangle. I would have liked to make the sign look a tiny bit more beat up, but I didn’t have enough time to teach myself a new technique before I had to stop to make dinner.
The other thing I did was to use a graffiti font to add my name and date to the arrow right above the fake sign.
I know I kind of glossed over all of this. If you are interested in me going in-depth with any of these techniques, just say the word!
As far as music goes, I hemmed and hawed over this one. Usually, when I make a general car mix like this, I like to fill it with 2/3 brand new stuff, and 1/3 older songs from the 60′s to the 90′s, often choosing titles that relate to a theme. You can see this in action especially well on my Snow Day mix.
This time, I had trouble getting into the oldies I had picked, and eventually I just decided to scrap them all. Now I have a mix that is almost entirely new, with a handful from the earlier 2000′s.
Would you like to listen? You can go to the mix on 8tracks, or you can play it right here if you see a player below.
Happy listening! I’d love to know what you think