Sunday, February 26, 2012

The 60s

For my current Graphic Design project, I am taking a modern advertisement and bringing it back to a retro sixties style... So I thought perhaps I should take a moment to explore 60s record design here on the blog.

This Capitol Records cover could never be mistaken as anything but a 60s piece. The lines are beautiful and free, the colours are all over the place, and the tone is psychedelic in its sale of ideals such as free love, rock and roll, and music like the Beatles. One can imagine it being quite easy to go overboard with so much going on in the piece, but all in all it is balanced out masterfully; pieces of flat white and sections of flat colour contrasting nicely with the busier areas. Hints of the warhol-esque pop art exist, but all in all the piece is unique and engaging. The sort of wild typography which fits into all kinds of different shapes, free from constricting rules, is not just a symbol of the spirit of the age but also an ongoing theme in design of the era.

Here we see a peacock made up of colour and typography in a 1963 Victor Moscoso cover. Notice again the flat planes of intense colour, psychedelic typography, and the fact that the pieces combine to create a greater whole images that is almost abstract in its execution. All of these fit in nicely with the design themes of the free-loving era.

This Grateful Dead piece from Alton Kelley is also fitting in well with the previously mentioned themes, though at the same time we can see some definite influences from the era of art nouveau. This could perhaps be said of many 1960s design works. Take for example this piece by Alphonse Mucha from the late 1800s. 

Art Nouveau or swinging 60s? Either way, it is clear that the era of psychedelic album cover/music poster design was very much influentially rooted in the beauty of Art Nouveau.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lady Gaga - Born This Way

There is no shortage of interesting-ness provided by Lady Gaga, so I thought I'd take a look at some of her album covers. This is one of her album covers from Born This Way, as shown below. It is a great example of how a little spot colour really makes a black and white composition pop. This cover definitely catches your eye!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This album cover is an extremely interesting twist on the famous Andy Warhol design. It makes it recognizable so people can almost relate with the album. The colour scheme is great, as its eye catching and interesting. 

Thursday, February 09, 2012


I like the concept of it , the horse strong  to the wave and they  illustrate the horses  like wave. and it work well withe  the title of the album.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit

I found this really neat album cover's from Jamie Cullum's album, The Pursuit.

Cullum is a jazz artist and likes to be known as "not just another jazz artist".

This cover is particularly interesting because it evokes a strong emotional response. The exploding piano is a very dynamic and ads motion to the cover.

Overall, this cover has a great design where the imagery sends a strong message.

The Ray Charles Pose

As I was doing research for this post, I began contemplating the way in which we associate certain individuals with certain poses. Marilyn Monroe standing over a vent, for example, is truly an iconic representation of this movie star. Even Superman has a recognizable stance.

I then started wondering if there were any musicians that have a go-to stance or facial expression to which we associate them. Elvis Presley and his curled lip, Steven Tyler and his larger-than-life mouth, Johnny Cash and his soul-piercing gaze.

Without a doubt, Ray Charles lands himself in this category and the large majority of his album covers can attest to that. In regards to design, I would say that they are fairly run-of-the-mill but this works in Charles's favour. They mostly feature a picture of the artist with his name in big letters along with the album title. Rest assured however that you can pretty much guarantee the imagery to be featured on the cover.

First, the contemplative downward stare. You get a sense that Ray Charles is thinking about what he is singing and where his fingers will go next on the piano.

See what I mean?

The second pose captures Charles mid-note and open-mouthed, often with his head thrown backwards. When I see this pose and facial expression, I can almost hear him belting out his iconic sound, truly feeling the lyrics of his music. I especially like the treatment on the Ain't It So and Crying Times albums as they incorporate a hand-drawn aspect and are easily identifiable by their colour scheme.

See what I mean?

I'm a fan of Ray Charles and this post was in no way meant to insult this artist in any way. He was and still remains a genius of his time. Having to overcome many obstacles throughout his life, --drug addiction, blindness, racism-- the fact that he was able to garner as much success and recognition as he did is absolutely astounding.

As I mentioned earlier, the large majority of Ray Charles's alums were done this way and this led to a certain consistency which came to be expected. The covers don't necessarily reflect the content but rather rely on the artist as their main selling feature. So what's better for an album cover to portray then, the artist as a constant or the content found within? Are there any other musicians that have a recognizable pose which has been featured regularly on their album covers?