"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.