Secret 7 is a design competition that offers the particpant a choice of seven tracks in which to create a 7" sleeve design. In 2018 I entered designs for "Castles Made of Sand" by Jimi Hendrix.

  • Graphic Design
  • Branding
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Animation


My winning entry was a minimalistic design but an intense arts & craft effort. I created a sandcastle stencil which I spray painted onto some fine sand paper. I then created a second sleeve out of blue acetate which I scored a sandcastle shaped hole in. This represented the tide as it starts to submerge the sandcastle.

And so
castles made
of sand,
Fall in
the sea,

Jimi Hendrix, 1967


An abstract interpretation of the the waves consuming the sand. Moving the vinyl layer under the cover layer creates the illusion of water rippling into the crevases of a sandcastle.

Young Jimi

The song was a biographical story of Hendrix's childhood. The producers have stated that "the sandcastles falling into the sea were a metaphor for the temporary nature of the loves, loyalties, bonds and friendships Hendrix experienced whilst growing up, in particular his uncertain familial relationships." The toddler Hendrix in this image is upset at the relativily trivial disappointment of his sandcastle being ruined by the sea, but it represented how those more profound childhood tragedies moulded and influenced the artist he became and the songs he wrote.

Hour Glass

This computer cursor hour glass is able to concisely depict the main message of the song.


If you were a sandcastle and had to choose a way to go, you'd want to be annihilated by the most famous wave in the world; Hokusai's 'Great Wave off Kanagawa'. The style is inspired from the rubber hosed cartooning from 1920s America.

Smokey Ocean

This design was created from two famous photographs of Jimi. He is depicted behind a lit cigarette consumed by a cloud of smoke. The vapour also represents a breaking wave as it edges closer to a child building a castle on the beach.


A protective octopus cradles a human newborn in a bubble as the latest sandcastle victims rain down like lead balloons.