U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE DVD Packaging Design

When a lightbulb from a desk lamp turned into a DVD cover

Just a couple of songs into the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE show, the stage is illuminated by a single glowing larger-than-life-size lightbulb.

It evokes a light without a shade from a young U2 band member’s bedroom where their first songs were crafted.

The lone lightbulb on stage also conjures up the innocence of memories of U2’s early days rehearsal spaces and contrasts memorably with the U2.IE tour’s huge video screen above the stage catwalk with its vivid moving electronic wash of colour that fills the arena each night.

The lightbulb is both intimate and iconic and makes for something uniquely different – the perfect symbol for the tour, along with the lyric, ‘there is a light, don’t let it go out’ from Songs Of Innocence, it captures both innocent hope and the experience of fear of these times. It’s a powerful motif.

For the U2.IE DVD and Blu-Ray packaging project, we worked with Gavin Friday, U2’s long term creative consultant. We all ultimately felt that this lightbulb moment had just the right association and impact to make for a memorable cover — one of nearly 40 cover designs we made for the project.

The cover photograph, of a lightbulb taken from a desk lamp, is treated in a tough punk-like graphic way to match the broken linear quality of the U2.IE tour logo mark.

The lightbulb photo is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s ‘banana’ sleeve for The Velvet Underground & Nico. To further the link, on the U2.IE 2-disc DVD version, the lightbulb peels off to reveal an abstract image underneath of a pear!

We used variations of the cover motif across the packaging formats, the menus for the DVD and Blu-Ray, for merchandise and across digital and print outdoor advertising and promotion. We even included a USB lightbulb in the Super Deluxe packaging version.

Thanks to Rozette Rago for the use of the live band photo.