The Making of John Mayer’s ‘Born & Raised’ Artwork & Album Cover

Very few designs have impacted me as much as Dave Smith’s work on John Mayer’s “Born & Raised” album cover. At first glance, I was immediately reminded of early century ephemera and a craft that I thought was history. High-quality, ornamental, handcrafted typography and sign writing is still alive thanks to exquisite craftsman such as Smith.

What impacted me the most was the amount of man-hours that must have been put in to complete a work of such fine quality and attention to detail. John Mayer states, “I don’t know of anyone who has spent as long on an album cover in the last ten years.” The amount of patience one must possess to complete a piece of this complexity is both admirable and respectable. Below, you will find a behind the scenes documentary showcasing the creation of the “Born & Raised” album cover in addition to an image gallery that showcases Smith’s illustration process.

Music by John Mayer
A Film by Danny Cooke
Featuring David A. Smith
Special Thanks to Sony Music and Columbia Records

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 1

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 2

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 3

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 4

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 5

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 6

David Adrian Smith - John Mayer's Born & Raised 7
Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at

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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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