Album Cover Research

LP Cover Research

Alison Moyet Singles Album Art

The simple use of black and white photography as base, accompanied by clean typography always seems to works well in cover design. There is a lot to be said for keeping thing simple.

  1. What i like here is the use of the filter on half of the image which seems to add an extra dimension. More importantly in this case it provides a convenient margin to the type to line up against.The opacity of the right hand text is taken down just enough as not to overpower the image.
  2. The injection of colour into the guitar really lifts it, giving it more emphasis thus making it the subject rather than the guitarist. I think it adequately emphasises the acoustic nature of the album
  3. Although not photography it follow the same simple rules and as a result makes for a very clean cover. this is one of those instances where centre aligned text works really well.
Keane: Under The Iron Sea by Sanna Annukka
Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

Pure computer illustrative techniques can often end up looking to severe without some filter techniques to soften them, but in the case of these three the sharpness helps

  1. The horse shape waves is a nice touch ala Surfer Guinness ad campaign or Neptune’s horses from mythology. The more powerful waves deepen in colour follow convention as we tend to associate black with power. The image is quite strong and as such it is balanced with very light(weight) type
  2. This is great !! Very bold. great use of colour and gradients, colour reuse for the type
  3. A simple illustration, yet effective. I must say that I found the text very hard to read at first. Maybe its the size. I can understanding not wanting to obscure the image, as it is really dominant here. I do like the symmetry achieved by placing the text on adjacent sides. The deep blue is a good choice. It is indicative of the deep blue/black of midnight skies.
  1. Whilst I can appreciate the skill that went into this image especially the chrome highlight on the bike I feel it just misses the mark. Im not totally convinced about the blending of Lady GaGa and the bike. With so much going on with the main image the text seems overworked. I think it a good idea, but could have been delivered better.
  2. Reminds me of the Srg. Pepper cover. Far too busy. The artist has tried to capture every conceivable moment of his life in this cover. Is that really necessary. But then again maybe this zany composition will appeal to its target audience.
  3. The blending between the b/w explosion and the illustrative top is none existent. The no filter techniques to marry to the parts together. One is just place on top of the other. It feels lazy, or naive.
    I was surprised how high contrast images came into my selection, especially combined with red. Really tried hard to avoid too many, but I guess if I like it, I like it!

  1. The title and sub text is nicely balanced. The rendering of the band as threshold make them blend with the geometric shapes. The central red circle really draws you eye to the text.
  2. I like this one for its use of unconventional type. The use of different sizes and weight works well together
  3. A very potent image. A absolutely love this style of imagery. I guess it could fall under agit prop. My mind is conjuring up images of socialist revolutions. The text is well balanced. It feels as though equal weight is given to the text and image. the jagged edges of the font transforms the text.
  1. My guess this is using live trace in illustrator. Rather than a cover I think this is a Cd inlay, but I like this image so much I included it.
  2. Much older techniques, but I see so many illustrator produce similar things today. Fits the title.
  3. There seems to be two animated styles at work here. The foreground is more deliberate whilst the backgroud is more subdued, wispy in nature. More suited to the subject. They seem to sit well together, they dont jar. The fact that the background is faded helps. The image is fitting for the title in that this album is a remix of the Beatles .The White Album> You get the sense that the artist is paying his respects/homage to the beatles via the faded presence in the background
Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - Muse - Origin of Symmetry
  1. There are so many silhouette covers to choose from. I pretty much like them all. So I guess this represent the style in general rather than this image in particular. The sunset yellows add warmth to the cover. The text could have benn more pronounced.
  2. When I choose this image I immediately thought it was well balanced. It was only at the point of writing I noticed the title. The text block cleverly repeats the black and white from the ground and base of the trees.
  1. Wow ! A stunning illustration in my opinion. I dont even know where to begin
  2. I love the collage free to this cover. It seems so tactile. You can really feel the multiple layer of sun,cloud, sun-rays; almost like a card art. Again the texture of the ground has a canvas like finish. The bold title doesn’t detract from the image. The red subtext really draws the eye.
  3. The graffiti style stencil character ala ‘Banski’. There are so many subtle layers at work here all the ink paint seems fluid

covers by Keith haring

Keith Haring studied at Ivy School of Professional Art, Pittsburgh between 76 – 78.

He moved to New York at a time there where there were many emerging art,music, and dance styles. One of the key visual styles was spray painted type and artwork. A style so vivid and having so much connection with the youth it is still with us today some 40 years later

Also studying at the School of Visual Arts. He died at an early age of 31.

His work is characterised by reduced imagery usually silhouette people with thick outlines. A limited use of colour, although usually quite vibrant. You can see a New York Style graffiti influence here.

I dont detect a strong meaning narrative in his imagery, but there is a direct attempt to literally interpret the title of the song / album . I was used by artists music tended to be light hearted, care free, e.g 80s dance

This seemed to be a good fit. His style was something that appealed to the young, lots of colourful elements and an animated style. I particularly like how he was able to convey the ides of movement with just a few ‘action strokes’ It really adds another dimension his work

Along with that is versatility. He seems to have captured some of the visually rules used in street styles, reduce them and produce a style that doesn’t look out of place anywhere on any media

Being an illustrative style the typography more often than not is freehand,often drawn to suite the image. An approach popularised by many graphic artist working on comic strips


Make a CD Cover Challenge

Just like the title says

Material Sources & Procedure

Purely for my reference, in case I want to do the exercise in the future

  1. Use the last 3 or 4 words of the from last quotation
  2. Use the article title as the name of the band
  3. Choose an image from the last 7 days at flick noting the Photographer image-maker

A quick fire exercise that makes you think fast on your feet. What was surprising was how ideas begin to flow when put under the cosh.


Thie title is

I choose the image from this selection

and chose


Things to take away from this exercise

Do not overwork the design unnecessarily sometimes an untouched picture and simple text layout is all that is required.

A rule of thumb I took away id that if the image is strong them the text should be kept simple and vice verca

Having said that keeping everything is not a bad idea . The canvas is very small. Not like record sleeves of the past. hence shouldn’t be cluttered unnecessarily

There is a lot to be said for simple, uncluttered, uncomplicated CD cover designs