Discussion Album/Single Cover Designs

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caloschwaby

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We've heard about what music we're listening to right now, we've talked about our anticipated releases in the RCMT, but now it's time to unify this discussion into something relevant to the area of graphic design - album covers.

There are many great designs that feature on the cover of albums, singles, etc - only few reach the stage of being iconic, cemented in pop culture over decades and an instantly recognisable mark of a musicians' identity and influence on culture at the time (eg. something about a certain side of Earth's largest satellite?)

So what are your favourites? Which ones completely miss the mark? Did something just drop that completely changes the game? That is what this thread is for.
 

Andonis1997

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This is the obvious choice here - Lateralus by Tool. So cool.

And this isn't exactly "groundbreaking" but I've always loved the simplicity of That's the Spirit by BMTH. Goes well with the vibe of the album too. And, it helps that I've been listening to it a lot during quarantine... Hehe.
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P.S. Shameless plug, and sorry to be "that guy" but our EP artwork done by an old band member I always thought was so great. He did it for his Year 12 final project in Design.
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If I remember any others I'll post them too! It's just that I have 4% on my phone at the moment...
 
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Freight Train

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I'm a bit of a Foo Fighters nuffy, does the network structure design mean or symbolise anything in particular?
AFAIK no, the most reasonable theory I’ve heard is that it’s a take on an album cover from The Pixies, whose album was produced by Gil Norton who also did this album.
 

Spanna_

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Both of these done by a guy named Leif Podhajsky, absolute creative genius and an amazing designer.
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I'm probably biased as these are all from bands I love.

I would also recommend checking out Jason Galea's work, he's practically the eighth member of King Gizzard and he creates all of the band's posters and album artwork.
 

Fizzler

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Here’s some of mine
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This is Kanye’s entire discography, my favourite would be Kids See Ghosts (bottom middle) which is for Kanye’s collab album with Kid Cudi and was designed by Takashi Murakami. The Life Of Pablo is also pretty cool too as is Yeezus which is so simplistic (CD with red tape) and the physical copies are really cool. The cover has been interpreted as sort of an open casket for the physical form of music as streaming has certainly taken over since the album was released in 2013.
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Brockhampton’s Iridescence is one of my favourite albums of all time, it was the first album I ever bought on vinyl and the whole thermal aesthetic that was used for promo was really cool too.
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Given I’m listening to some Tyler The Creator right now, his 2017 album Flower Boy is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen.
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Bruiseboy is a track by Jean Dawson that I found recently and I’ve loved, the cover is really mystifying too and I really like it.
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Amd finally FM! by Vince Staples, where the cover was inspired by Green Day’s Dookie. The album is about Vince growing up on the north side of Long Beach in California. It is presented in the form of a radio broadcast which is honestly a really cool concept excecuted to perfection with interludes and effects and the like. A short album that I recommend listening to. However as upbeat as the album sounds it touches on dark themes like that of murder in “Feels Like Summer” as did his former album “Summertime ‘06” however s06 sounded sad and dark, FM is a stark contrast in sound, highlighting the ways negative issues are sort of covered up in a sense. Anyway back to the cover, it works in the same way as the album, looking like a happy day at the beach, but looking closer there’s a police helicopter, guns and many other things.
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caloschwaby

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Here’s some of mine
View attachment 903435
This is Kanye’s entire discography, my favourite would be Kids See Ghosts (bottom middle) which is for Kanye’s collab album with Kid Cudi and was designed by Takashi Murakami. The Life Of Pablo is also pretty cool too as is Yeezus which is so simplistic (CD with red tape) and the physical copies are really cool. The cover has been interpreted as sort of an open casket for the physical form of music as streaming has certainly taken over since the album was released in 2013.
View attachment 903441
Brockhampton’s Iridescence is one of my favourite albums of all time, it was the first album I ever bought on vinyl and the whole thermal aesthetic that was used for promo was really cool too.
View attachment 903449
Given I’m listening to some Tyler The Creator right now, his 2017 album Flower Boy is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen.
View attachment 903450View attachment 903450View attachment 903450
Bruiseboy is a track by Jean Dawson that I found recently and I’ve loved, the cover is really mystifying too and I really like it.
View attachment 903452
Amd finally FM! by Vince Staples, where the cover was inspired by Green Day’s Dookie. The album is about Vince growing up on the north side of Long Beach in California. It is presented in the form of a radio broadcast which is honestly a really cool concept excecuted to perfection with interludes and effects and the like. A short album that I recommend listening to. However as upbeat as the album sounds it touches on dark themes like that of murder in “Feels Like Summer” as did his former album “Summertime ‘06” however s06 sounded sad and dark, FM is a stark contrast in sound, highlighting the ways negative issues are sort of covered up in a sense. Anyway back to the cover, it works in the same way as the album, looking like a happy day at the beach, but looking closer there’s a police helicopter, guns and many other things.
View attachment 903477
This thread was made for you my man, love these :thumbsu:
 

caloschwaby

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DMA's The Glow comes out in 2 weeks, really love the aesthetic they're going for with the album and in all of the singles they've dropped thus far;

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Funnily enough, it was the kind of hazy, static effect on these covers that inspired the realistic template I rolled out in MSFL.
 

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Teen Wolf

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In terms of something that works as a standalone piece which is striking and deceptively subtle, visually and conceptually, it's hard to go past:

ToPimpAButterfly1.jpg


For marketing mastery, late-90s girl groups and boy bands is where it's at. Spice Girls' second album, which is just different enough from the first without taking any risk of abandoning the successful gimmick, might be the best example.

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In 1973, looking back at what was the norm and how band logos were used, this was ahead of its time:

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And a few personal favourites of something generic or cliched being slightly twisted to perfectly encapsulate the album's mood and/or themes.

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Dylan8

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Loveless comes to mind as a visually striking album cover that also encapsulates the sound of the album, that hazy, monolithic wall of sound.

Most of my favourite album covers are just cool paintings or photos.
 

magpienato

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Hipgnosis were the people behind some of the most iconic album covers in music, and their work was used on every Pink Floyd album bar 'The Wall' I believe.
While they made some simple covers like Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, others featured incredible detail like in the ones you see below and it's if you see something new the deeper you stare into them.

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As for my favourite, would probably have to go with Odyssey Number Five. Something about the colour palate used and the vagueness of it all really gets to me. Channels the same vibes as the Hipgnosis album covers and I recall reading somewhere that the designer actually worked with them so that explains the similarities in style.

Odyssey_-_5.jpg
 

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