Tender age

Moshi Moshi is a record label always one (or 20) steps ahead of the game. So imagine our delight when the label revealed a new imprint, Tender Age, last month, accompanied by some utterly adorable illustrations.

These illustrations arrive courtesy of Manda Wilks, a third-year graphic design student at Brighton Uni. Wilks has branded the label, designed the website, will design flyers and will also be working with one of the label’s bands, Beat Connection, on the sleeve design for their EP release in January.

Toby Bull, label head of Tender Age, says, ‘She’s a brilliant designer and has helped me out before with stuff.

‘We can take what [the bands] dream up and put it on a seven or twelve inch sleeve, which many bands can’t do as well as she can.’

Tender Age logo by Manda Wilks
Tender Age logo by Manda Wilks

Being a one-women-design-band for Tender Age is no mean feat, considering the majority of work is painstakingly hand-drawn.  Wilks admits, ‘I very rarely draw as it takes me quite a while to get the illustrations right, I’m a perfectionist.’

The fruits of her labours are seen in the endearing Tender Age logo and the monochrome, painstakingly detailed doodle-cum-illustration backdrop to the Tender Age website, which has been coded by Sam Desborough.

Bull explains, ‘I wanted all the initial stuff hand drawn because of the name Tender Age. It suggests something faltering and lacking in perfection, with the potential in it to be something incredible.

Tender Age website backdrop by Manda Wilks

‘That’s something you couldn’t get with digital design so, however painstaking it was for Manda to hand draw everything so well, it certainly got what I wanted.’

Although being such a close-knit team means that there wasn’t a concrete brief for the project, the pair has worked with a clear idea of the visual direction they wanted for the label.

Bull says, ‘ I set her down with the initial idea I had of something to do with a lamb but then saw a beautiful – if very haunting – photo of a bruised child and wanted to incorporate a toddler’s face in the logo. So I ran into her room and smacked that down on her table asking her to work that in. Then we hit the lamb hat idea.’

Tender Age’s first release will be Beat Connection’s new single, followed by the revamped Surf Noir EP in early 2011. 

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