Assorted Music Graphics

Identity / Branding / Packaging / Print

Music packaging, specifically album art of the 60s and 70s, was the initial inspiration for Clif to study graphic design. It took a few years after founding Stoltze Design, but eventually in the early 90s he had the opportunity to join forces with Cynthia von Buhler and her then-husband Adam Buhler to establish the independent record label Castle von Buhler. Clif’s contributions as the label’s art director (and occasional producer) led to numerous design awards that ultimately attracted projects from established record labels including Sony, Capitol, EMI, DGC, Matador, and others. His love for the medium has not diminished and led to authoring a book on the subject, 1000 Music Graphics, as well as curating POSTGIG, a traveling exhibition of gig posters from the past 25 years.

Castle von Buhler Records
Packaging / Identity / Print Collateral

Founded by Adam Buhler, Cynthia von Buhler, and Clif Stoltze, this Boston-based experimental record label (and artistic and social nexus) released ultra high quality, mostly local underground music in the 90s. The art/music compilations Anon and Nigh were instrumental in promoting the label and its artists such as Splashdown, the Moors, and Annette Farrington. Each compilation came in custom packaging that contained a set of square cards featuring custom illustrations for each of the tracks by an impressive list of contributing illustrators including: Polly Becker, Jordan Isip, Juliette Borda and, of course, Cynthia von Buhler.

Symbion Project

Symbion Project is the brainchild of electronic music composer/producer Kasson Crooker, who was also a member of Splashdown on the CvB label. Influenced by 80s synthpop acts Depeche Mode and New Order, Massive Attack and Portishead in the 90s, and Röyksopp and Air in the 00s, Symbion Project strives to define its own aesthetic and songwriting style.

Pell Mell

Over the seventeen years the band existed, the drummer, Bob Beerman, former design director at Stoltze, remained the only constant member of Pell Mell. Its most permanent and final lineup included other notable musicians like keyboardist Steve Fisk, bassist Greg Freeman, and guitarist David Spalding. Clif and Bob collaborated on album art for both Interstate (David Geffen Company) and Star City (Matador).

Michael Bloomfield
Packaging / Identity / Print Collateral

For fifteen years we’ve had the pleasure to work with Al Kooper on packaging for some of his classic recordings, including a reissue of Super Session, a seminal jam record that featured the late Michael Bloomfield’s lyrical blues guitar work. When Al finally got a green light on assembling the first comprehensive collection of Mike’s work, we did not hesitate to jump in head first. Of the many pleasures that accompanied this project, trading emails with The Bruce “more cowbell” Dickinson (as immortalized by Christopher Walken on SNL) was pretty awesome.

Live from Las Vegas Centennial Collection
Packaging / Identity / Print Collateral

Our most comprehensive music packaging gig to date, this box set of 8 live recordings on Capitol Records was assembled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Las Vegas and features performances from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Nancy Wilson, Elvis Presley, and others. The design was inspired by marquee signage and makes extensive use of Hoefler’s Knockout font family.

OHM : the early gurus of electronic music
Packaging / Identity / Print Collateral

Leaps in technology: oscillators, generators, vacuum tubes, amplifiers, transistors, magnetic tape, integrated circuits, and the microchip— inspired new instruments: the telharmonium, theremin, ondes martenot, electronic sackbut, clavivox, electronium, moog synthesizer, and computers— and artists everywhere hungry for new modes of expression. This collection is a humble but bold attempt to give form to the wonderful, multi-directional, inevitable birth of electronic music.

“Many of the ideas in this collection have now been so completely assimilated into popular listening that it may sometimes be hard to remember how surprising it all was on first outing. Some of it still sounds pretty exotic. These CDs are important as part of the story of how we got to where we are now—the cultural conversation so far—and as a still fruitful repertoire of future possibilities.” —from the foreword by Brian Eno

Features 3 CDs—, 42 original music tracks from 1948—1980, and 112-page book— with extensive artist interviews, commentaries, and archival photographs.

Windham Hill
This special series of Windham Hill Compilations was created for Hay House Publishing’s gift shop market.
The Best of Hootenanny

Between Elvis Presley and the Beatles, folk music enjoyed a brief popularity among young Americans. Heard in coffee shops and on college campuses, acts like Judy Collins, the Brothers Four, and Jimmie Rodgers were leaders in the genre. Hosted by Jack Linkletter, the 1963 television series HOOTENANNY showcased all the greats in folk. Gathered in this collection are the show’s best moments, compiled from footage once thought to be gone forever including performances by the Journeymen, Leon Bibb, Eddy Arnold, and many more.

Johnny Winter

Second Winter is the third studio album by Texas blues guitarist Johnny Winter, released in 1969. The album was released as a “three-sided” LP, with a blank fourth side on the original vinyl. Two more songs, “Tell the Truth” and “Early in the Morning,” were left unfinished but released on this 2004 Legacy re-release of the album for Capitol. This double CD set came complete with an expanded booklet featuring more iconic photography by Richard Avedon.

1,000 Music Graphics
Book Design

Clif’s book, 1000 Music Graphics: A compilation of packaging, posters, and other sound solutions, published in 2008, is a survey of album covers, T-shirts, websites, and other forms of music paraphernalia created in recent years from U.S., European, and Japanese designers.