Over the years there’s been lots inspirational artwork created for album covers and with this post I am going to highlight a few of my all time favourite designs as well as introduce my new series of “Musically Inspired Album Covers”.
Digital downloads are unfortunately taking away more and more sales from physical CDs which is a shame as you really lose out on seeing the awesome artwork associated. I personally try and buy a physical version of the album whenever I see a good design but I sadly think this might well be a dying trend, mainly due to the convenience of applications like iTunes.
The trend of having interesting artwork for album covers obviously started way before digital downloads and, like magazine covers, were a way of catching someone’s eye for them to want to find out more about the music or potentially make a purchase there and then. This today is not the case as much more music is simple purchased out of hearing the music or recommendation / word of mouth. However recently it looks like there has been a re-emergence in bands wanting to have more exciting and interesting album cover art – which is great as I would hate to see this kind of art dwindle.
My Musically Inspired Album Covers Series
This year I have been asked to create more and more album covers, which I love doing, but I noticed that the ones which I wanted to work on most were the ones where I had been inspired or moved by the music itself. This in turn has started a new project of mine on Flickr which I have called “Musically Inspired Album Covers”. The artwork here has been created with no other influence other than the music (playing on repeat1). I start with a blank screen and just start designing and hopefully create something that fits the style. Obviously there are subconscious influences, as with any design, which will come in to play but for the most part it just about me, the music and Illustrator CS5. I’d like to think that most of the designers below in the gallery have taken a similar approach as some of the designs seem to match the music perfectly.
Here a few of the design I have created so far in the Musically inspired album cover series. Follow my Flickr stream if you want to see more as I’m planning to keep this series going for a while or at least until I run out of truly inspirational music (which won’t be any time soon).
Inspired by Gareth Emery and the track Metropolis
Inspired by Jean Michel Jarre’s album Equinoxe
Inspired by Jean Michel Jarre’s album Zoolook
Inspired by Deadmau5’s album Lack of a better name
Inspired by Röyksopp’s album Junior
Inspired by Röyksopp’s album Melody A.M.
Inspired by Mike Oldfield’s album Platinum
Inspired by The Avalanches’ album Since I Left You
Inspired by BT’s album These Hopeful Machines
Inspired by Daft Punk’s single Digital Love
Inspired by Daft Punk’s single Around the World
Top 5 Album Cover Art
Below this is my full collection but I thought I would just outline my top 5 beforehand. These are my favourites and really encompass what I love about album cover art design.
Yes – Union (Roger Dean)
Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe
Crystal Method – Divided By Night (Neil Ashby)
Muse – Resistance (La Boca)
Rafale – Rock it, Don’t Stop it (Akroe)
Inspirational Album Cover Art Gallery
Here is the gallery of a selection of album cover art which I find really inspirational and exciting. If you know who the designer was please add a comment and a URL if possible so they get some recognition.