Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gotye - Making Mirrors

If nobody has told you about Gotye yet, please take the time to listen to some of their songs. The Making Mirrors album is about 45 minutes long and has a cool, moody, and reflective vibe to it. When I saw the cover art for this album, it is clear to see that the two go hand in hand.  The painted canvas is indicative of the heart that went into writing the tracks for the album. Despite the fact that it is made out of geometric shapes, it's interesting that the cover has a circular flow to it just by the way that the lights and darks have been placed.

If you have a few minutes, take the time to look at the video for the single Somebody that I used to Know. It brings the album cover to life, literally.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

This red hot chili peppers album cover has a lot of contrast within it. Between the illustration in the center, and the texture that each band member is done in. The coral colour is a great accent colour, as its not the typical deep red that is usually pair with a black and white piece. Its an interesting layout that guides your eye in a circular motion around the entire album cover.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dave Mckean

One of my very favourite designers is Dave Mckean, so I thought today I'd share some of the album cover art he's done.  The first is a Tori Amos cover, showcasing Dave McKean's tendency to mix photography with a collage of items. The result is usually a strange but gorgeous piece... It just works.

The second piece is a Dream Theater cover... A collage of many different photos which juxtapose to make up one face. It is distorted and emotional; dreamlike in its layerings. The first two covers are very warm in their colouring, but the third is a departure in this sense.

The third is colder, more monotone... but anything but boring. In this piece he's blended his image right in with the wood behind, and it is very effective.

Tori Amos cover

Friday, March 09, 2012

Group Shots

I'm always intrigued by album covers that feature large groups of people as they invite you to really observe the artwork and decipher the characters. Here are 3 great examples of crowd-filled covers. 

First, The Airborne Toxic Event's All At Once album displays a black and white photograph of individuals whose eyes have been censored. Doing so prevents us from seeing their emotional state. These people could be protesting something just as much as they could be enjoying an outdoor concert. This cover is truly left open to the interpretation of anyone who sees it.

Next is Foster the People's Torches album. The illustration style and line work adds a certain quirkiness to the cover which makes you want to determine what each figure is doing. Just like All at Once, the album art is black and white with a spot colour. But despite this similarity, both albums convey an entirely different mood. 

Finally, and what I think is one of the most popular crowd scenes ever featured on an album, is The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The cover features many iconic celebrities of the 20th century such as Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple alongside other historic figures such as Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. The juxtaposition of colour and greyscale images also makes for an interesting composition. Please take the time to do some research on the individuals featured on this award-winning cover as you may be surprised. Have you found Albert Einstein yet?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Script - Collage Covers

The Script's self-title debut album released in 2008 features great use of collage elements. I've not seen too many album in this style and this one does so quite well. Popularized in the 20th century, a collage is a mix of elements that appear to have no outward connection but are juxtaposed in such a way that makes them work as a cohesive unit or piece of art. 

This series features the main cover art (light blue backdrop) as well as two singles.  All three are set upon a graph paper field with protruding rooftops and buildings. The backgrounds are uncluttered, a simple gradient. (The green one seems a little muddy compared to the other two however.) Directly in the middle of the scene, there is an element which stands above the rest, breaking through the urbanized setting. The band name is suspended in the air by two cables and hangs slightly tilted, all of which contributes to the collage feel. The coloured stripe pattern can also be found in all three covers.

Simply put, the unique nature of these covers is truly indicative of the band's genre.