Graphic design is an interest of mine despite only having little formal education in it. Album art is a specific category of graphic design that I find extremely intriguing. An album cover is so significant because music is heard not seen, and it is the album cover’s job to convey an emotion or a theme that represents the selection of music as a whole. Therefore, the use of colors, images, graphics, and text is generally pretty well thought out, and there are several that I’d like to briefly discuss why they caught my eye.
These are all covers to music I am personally familiar, so I can judge better on how representative they are of their contents.
- All Over – CRUISR: This album immediately caught my eye through the simplicity of graphics and the contrast it displays. The title of the band name “CRUISER” and the boarder are both so centered in contrast to the spilled milk box. This contrast helps emphasize the message of the album and it’s title, All Over. However, the happy pastel colors help represent the more upbeat indie sound of the album.
- Big Mess – Grouplove: From just this picture, you can tell the art and the title go well together through representation a feeling of being overwhelmed. Another element you may not know if you don’t know the band is that the album art is cohesive with all their other albums they’ve released.
- Currents – Tame Impala: This album cover accurately displays the “psychedelic pop, disco, R&B, and electropop” sound of the album with its mix of cool and warm tones and distorting stripes.
- Peripheral Vision – Turnover: This album doesn’t even feature the band or album title. However, by avoiding vibrant colors on the album cover and loud graphics or text, the cover represents its “more atmospheric, dream pop-type sound”.
- Science Fiction – Brand New: For Brand New’s fifth album, a photograph was used as the cover. Again, this album does not use text at all within its composition, which emphasizes the high-contrast photograph itself. The album features some mysterious, dark tones within it, and with the unclear understanding of what is happening through the movement of the two jumping girls and nighttime setting, I think this image matches the themes and sound of the album despite how unclear the image may seem.
- French Exit – TV Girl: Out of all the albums, the last is the one I am least familiar with the sound of. However, the songs I know have a dreamy, upbeat sound with darker lyrics. The photograph used seems ideal to me because the image is of a girl hugging someone but edited to be in red and black only, representing the serious undertones. The title is centered in an unobtrusive font, allowing emphasis to be on the image itself.
As I was researching album covers, I cam across some others that intrigued me purely based on cover art and titles without knowing the content of the albums. What do you think? What are your favorite album covers?
Billboard’s Best Album Covers of All Time: https://www.billboard.com/photos/6715351/best-album-covers-of-all-time