Behind the Design of the Reissued Darah Muda

Indonesian record label Elevation Records has reissued the Darah Muda album, soundtrack of the film Darah Muda which first screened in 1977. Not only an actor in the cast of the film, Rhoma Irama also took part as a musician on this album. First released as a vinyl record, the cover of the album showcases the faces of the film’s characters and a few snapshots of the scenes with a strong retro ambience.Ramzi Firhad and Lody Adrian are the people behind this album’s visual design.

The design began with illustrations by Ramzi Firhad, a freelance illustrator and one of the educators at Ilustrasee. Many of his works have been used by both local and international music acts. On the illustrations for this album he said, “[It was] like working on any album covers in general. For efficiency, this project was done digitally, specifically through digital painting. It’s just like traditional painting, just with a digital medium.”

Ramzi explained that he still wanted to give that unique oil painting on canvas impression with rough and fervent brushstrokes. The thing he wanted to emphasize in this illustration was the energy and spirit of the Darah Muda film, especially the face and expressions of Rhoma Irama as the main point. “A fierce stare, but you can still feel his pursuit of justice,” Ramzi explained.


According to Ramzi, the research process began with discussion, a display of the background of the album by Taufiq Rahman from Elevation Records, and a listening session of the album. “We followed up with research and gathering data related to this album, specifically photos and videos which will become our reference,” Ramzi elaborated. ”I also had to watch the Darah Muda film multiple times to really get a sense [of the film] and [pick out] moments that could be immortalized in the illustration later. It was quite difficult because the photos and videos we had were mostly of low resolutions. Fortunately, Taufiq Rahman had high-resolution special documents that really helped me.”

After the illustrations were completed, the process was taken over by Lody Adrian as a graphic designer. This is not the first time the two have worked together. Previously, as the head of Design at an education technology organization and a musician, Lody had asked Ramzi to create an illustration for the album cover of a music project that he initiated. When Elevation Records invited him to work on the Darah Muda album, Lody immediately thought of inviting Ramzi to work together once again.

“Rhoma Irama’s Darah Muda is one of the most significant albums in the journey of Indonesian music, both through the influence it had on the greater public as well as its success in the market. The reissuing of this album can be seen as an artifact of our music history. As such, I wanted to take the design concept back to 1977 when the Darah Muda album was first released by Yukawi Records,” Lody explained.


Through album archives and Taufiq Rahman’s old photos, Lody was able to gain enough inspiration to visually create the Darah Muda album concept. “After that, I tried to study the visual approaches of the era and inject that into this album. For the album’s insert, I was inspired by the layouts and design principles of pretty legendary music magazines, namely Aktuil. Likewise with the typography and visual elements which lean towards being over-decorative,” Lody elaborated.

Through research and appropriate design, this album is presented with the ambience and character aligned with the film. Not only is the reissued Darah Muda album important in revisiting a significant fragment of Indonesian music history, it is also a form of maturity in design to deliver a great presentation.

About the Author

Daud Sihombing

Daud Sihombing has been writing professionally for the past 9 years. This fervent alternative publishing enthusiast prefers his quaint little town over the hustle and bustle of the city and doesn't let sleep stop him from watching every single AS Roma match.