The New Stuff

Music Packaging of the Week: Hold That Tiger

Design: Onion Design Associates
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Muddy Basin Ramblers
Packaging Content: Music CD
Location: Taiwan

“Hold That Tiger” is the third full-length album by the jug band the Muddy Basin Ramblers, a group of US/UK expats living in Taipei, Taiwan. The album has 22 tracks of mostly original music with styles that range from swing jazz, blues and ragtime to Taiwanese traditional temple parade music, Nakashi (known in Japan as Enka), Irish folk and even Taiwanese hip hop. The song lyrics cover an eclectic mix of topics and themes, including the phenomenon of folk religion and cults, the Asian immigrant diaspora, the Beat Generation, sci-fi/UFO kitch from the 1950s, and the history of jazz music.

To convey the experimental nature of the music and its subject matter, which plays with the East/West cultural divide, we decided to create a visual style that combines Taiwan’s religious folk culture and Taoist mysticism with a touch of 50’s retro-futurism from the West.

The Cover
The title “Hold that Tiger” comes from a lyric in “Tiger Rag”, a jazz standard dating back to 1917, which is the first song on this album. We borrowed from traditional Chinese folk art, invoking an iconic image of the Taoist figure Zhang Daoling, aka “Chinese Celestial Master Zhang Tianshi” (張天師神符), who is often portrayed with a tiger. The image is sourced from a Taoist paper talisman (“Fu”/符). The Fu talisman is traditionally kept to ward off evil or unwanted spirits and ghosts. In keeping with one theme on the album — the mixing of traditional and modern elements — we “retro-fitted” Master Zhang with a space helmet, 3D glasses and a jug (often used as a homemade “tuba” by jug bands).

CD Sleeve
The CD is wrapped in a sheet of yellow paper that takes on the appearance of a Taoist Fu talisman. The printed calligraphy may look like abstracted Chinese glyphs, but is actually comprised of Roman letters, with the band’s name written on the right (The Muddy Basin Ramblers) and the title of the CD on the left (Hold That Tiger). This reconstruction technique is borrowed from artist Xu Bing’s “square word calligraphy,” in which he devised a system for writing English in a form that resembled Chinese characters. When folded using a origami hexagon folding technique, the CD sleeve emulates the appearance of a traditional Taiwanese amulet.

CD Label 
The design derived from a Chinese zodiac wheel (denoting 12 palaces) in a fortune-telling chart, originating from Yilan, Taiwan.



Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.


Recently Published


Releasing a “digital-only” album is not the wisest thing to do

Last year, Best Buy decided to stop selling CDs partly due to record ...


Five merch items we offer that your fans would surely go crazy over

Most of you know that we specialize in CD/DVD and vinyl ...

SAW Soundtrack vinyl record

Vinyl Record Labels That Rock

We want our vinyl record to look rad. We think we can do this by ...


Timing is Everything When It Comes to Releasing An Album

Well…not really everything because your music is more important ...


Vinyl Packaging of the Week: Olsson Tropical Cologne

Design: Pond Design Project Type: Produced Client: Mr Radar, Chris ...

Get Out Soundtrack vinyl

How to Significantly Cut Down Vinyl Pressing Cost

There is no denying it. Pressing vinyl records could be really ...


Vinyl Packaging: Sad About The Times- Various Artists (Kemado/Anthology)

Beautiful packaging for a set of beautiful songs to accompany your ...


T-Shirt Packaging: Wine Bottle for Iver Grizzle Shirts

Iver Grizzle is a specialized clothing apparel brand. Its focus is ...


CD Packaging: Zappa in New York 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Packaging Manufacturer: GPA Global Project Type: Produced Client: ...

Read previous post:
Vinyl Album Covers with Awesome Pop Art Design

Pop Art was the dominant movement in early 1960s American art. Short for “popular art,” it featured common household objects...