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Have A Cigar: Blacklake - the team behind Haken and Headspace's album covers

The Dutch design duo Blacklake found their niche in modern prog via Roger Dean and Storm Thorgerson’s artwork.

“The first two albums I bought were by Yes and Iron Maiden… I didn’t know what they sounded like, I just liked the cover art!” laughs Merlijn Zeeders, one half of the design-cum-promo team Blacklake. Fortunately, it turned out he also liked the music and his youthful purchases marked the beginning of a long association with both prog and metal.

Heavily inspired by Roger Dean and Storm Thorgerson’s luscious album art, Zeeders pursued his passion for illustration at art school in the Netherlands, and it wasn’t long before his own pieces started being used by bands, including American fantasy metallers Manowar. It was through his best friend that he met fellow designer Mark van den Hoven, and in 2009 the pair officially created the graphic design company Blacklake. Their first client? Dutch tribute band Maiden uniteD, who were fronted by none other than Damian Wilson.

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