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CHICAGO – 17

As I said before, you never know when you are doing the next big album, and Chicago 17 turned out to be their biggest selling album ever. The “Chicago” logo was well established (Editor’s note – originally designed by John Berg and Nick Fasciano, it first appeared on the band’s second studio album, released in 1970, with the designers winning a Grammy Award for their work) when I got the call to design this album; it was all about how to treat the logo. I had a woodworker make me a 3D version of the logo, which I wrapped in a linen fabric and airbrushed across the wrapped logo at an extreme angle. I then unwrapped the linen, stretched it over heavy cardboard and worked on the details with pencil and pastel. I had a rubber stamp made for the 17 and tied the final piece with twine I had covered with acrylic paint. Robert Lamm told me how much he liked what I’d created for the band and, when it came time to do the cover for Night & Day ten years later (in 1995), he told me that they’d wanted me on the job as they weren’t too happy with their covers since Chicago 17. I took that as quite the compliment.

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