Monday, August 18, 2008

Album Art Not Dead Yet

"You are creating a sleeve that you want to be as iconic as possible.... It's got to work when it's a thumbnail on Amazon, it's got to work on the shelves at Tesco, and on the racks at HMV.

With bands being able to sell music online, it frees designers from the constraints of retailers. For years, designers have had to work within the constraints of retailers like Tesco, HMV and Virgin. They dictated the packaging, the dual case CD, because of the racking that was designed specifically to stock dual cases. Years ago, if we proposed an alternative format, it was always knocked back because retailers wouldn't stock it.

But now what is fantastic is that we see bands selling music online, where they can sell either a digital download or offer the option... to buy a special packaging version of the product, that can be mailed to them, that can be any shape, any size and any format."

Tom Hingston, of Tom Hingston Studio, has designed covers for the Rolling Stones, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Gnarls Barkley and others.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cover Art By: New Music Graphics

I just put this book on my wish list.

From Amazon:
Product Description
The album cover is a subject of perennial interest among graphic designers. Sleeve design remains a popular subject for college projects, and many young working designers aspire to design for the music industry. Revealing state-of-the-art contemporary music graphics, Cover Art By: is packed with more than 400 examples of sleeve art. As well as CD and album covers, the insides of CD booklets and the backs of vinyl sleeves are shown.

The book opens with an in-depth essay reviewing the current scene, then focuses on the work of 30 international designers/labels who are the most influential in the field, making this a must-have for designers and students, as well as music industry professionals and fans.

About the Author
Adrian Shaughnessy is a self-taught graphic designer, writer, and editor. Until recently he was creative director of Intro, the London-based music design company he co-founded in 1989. He left Intro in 2004 to pursue an interest in writing and consultancy. His previous books include the Sampler series; How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul; and Look at This: Contemporary Brochures, Catalogues & Documents (all Laurence King).