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Design: Helen Xa-Thomas
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Student Project
School: Shillington
Course: Graphic Design
Tutor: Hilary Archer and Alice Riley
Packaging Contents: CD
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Card
Printing Process: Print and Foil

M.I.A.’s single ‘Paper Planes’ digs at the fearful views of immigration – that immigrants contribute nothing to culture and are here to make money, benefits and jobs off native citizens.

My design of her record cover uses a handmade, off-screen approach to convey the richness of culture and the ‘cash flow’ that immigration brings. On another level, the cash register is also synonymous with the sound effects, a prominent feature in the song itself. Immigration is also a courageous act and the flock of birds represents a ‘flock of courage’ too.

I wanted the overall piece to feel elegant but also communicate the dark undertones behind M.I.A’s lyrics.

What’s Unique?
This is a handcrafted piece and completely unique as a piece of art.

The wooden cash register has been spray-painted with a primer and then coated with layers of black matte acrylic paint. The birds are hand-folded from gold paper inspired by Japanese origami. The typography is gold foiled print, adding a touch of elegance to the piece.