Creative Strategist – Jess Willemse


A collection of my wandering thoughts on design, brands, books, music and the like.​

The National are killin’ it with their latest album release.


I love music. I love graphic design. I love branding. I love video. So when these things collide in beautiful album release campaigns, I get very excited.

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In this case, I'm currently drooling over the identity for the upcoming seventh studio album ‘Sleep Well Beast’ by The National. This brand was developed in collaboration with Pentagram's Luke Hayman and team. I say in collaboration because, fun fact, lead singer Matt Berninger actually had a very successful advertising career before starting the band. This is a nice insight into why the band has taken such care in the artwork and identity for this album. 

What draws me to the campaign is not just the aesthetics, or even the music (although, I do love the singles so far). What truly impresses me is the way they have created this brand, this visual system, and translated it across touch points in a clever, captivating and totally beautiful way. Specifically, I am obsessed with the way they've tackled social media, video and the website. 

Social Media

These short videos are just a taster as to how the brand has been translated to social. They show the flexibility and consistency of the system, as well as the opportunity for play. 

A post shared by The National (@thenational) on

A post shared by The National (@thenational) on


One thing that always interests me is how musicians or bands tackle releases on social, which is a predominantly sound off and visual environment. Beautiful aesthetics such as these always help, and I love the transition of the brands vector lead identity into something more fluid and etherial. What I think would level up this video though (especially for social) is the addition of some interesting typography, oh, and changing the ratio to square.

A post shared by The National (@thenational) on

A post shared by The National (@thenational) on

The Website

It's clean. It's pretty. It's functional. Not much more you could ask for from a website... oh wait... AND it also looks great on mobile. You can check it out here.

Hope you guys enjoyed that little spotlight on one of my fave bands! You can check out the singles from the upcoming album Sleep Well Beast here. Question: what is your fave album artwork of all time? Let me know in a comment!