The Making of Heartwork: Alex Rutterford’s Sleeve Art

Alex Rutterford is a Director, Designer and Artist with over a decade of experience in commercials, music videos and short films.

After graduating in graphic design, he began his professional career in the film industry by designing graphics for films working in the art departments of Shepperton and Pinewood Studios. He naturally progressed into the role of Creative Director / Computer Generated Image Artist at Lost in Space where his reputation was cemented in designing and animating the groundbreaking music video “Gantz Graf’ for Autechre / Warp Records. After joining RSA Films (2001-2012) he went on to direct music videos including Radiohead (“Go To Sleep”) where he was part of the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase, and award-winning commercials for Bacardi, Sony Playstation and Chrysler Group (Dodge). His work has been exhibited internationally in numerous film and art festivals including the Yvon LambertGallery, New York; the Punto Y Raya Festival, Spain, and onedotzero.



Alex’s commentary on the project

My initial response to being asked to contribute to this project was that of heartfelt (no pun intended) joy and sincere honour that I had been given the chance to contribute to the help and benefit of others. My second response after hearing, and loving, the track by Paul Hartnoll was to take a biomechanical route in terms of a feel to the artwork. The music was the key element that helped me in forming the idea and bringing all the elements together. The musical tone and electronic dance aspect, the heart itself, visual data of heart rates from the commuter cyclists and the mechanical aspect of bikes – all these fused in my mind to determine that a biomechanical solution would serve as the best expression for the cover art. This was further cemented when I started doing some visual research on the human heart – I found the cava and aorta could be elongated to represent the look and feel of a bike frame.



Along with looking at a bikes’ mechanism, I thought the idea of gears would also serve as visual metaphor for the heart as well. They represent the heart of a bike in some ways – alternating between fast or slow and, essentially, making the bike move with the riders input of physical energy. With the added elements of the rear derailleur gears with the wire that operates them, I found that by manipulating how the cable looked, I could visually represent a heart-beat or data pulse representative of the biometric data from the commuter cyclists. By selecting a musical signature (headphone cable), and choosing a red, metallic-style colour scheme, the project idea and solution then came together quickly.Finally, and with reflection, I found that this was the perfect moment to add a dedication to a kind-hearted man I knew that sadly passed away through complications from a heart attack; however, I won’t tell you where it’s placed – you may well find it.



The final artwork

>> Get your free download of the Heartwork Track by Paul Hartnoll (Orbital)<<

For the Evans Cycles Heartwork campaign, Alex was commissioned by design production house WeAreMidnight.




Pricklepants 20/06/2018

An excellent amalgamation of music, visual art and cycling and raising awareness of health and exercise and that of the British Heart Foundation`s work – well done Evans Cycles for promoting this


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