At Creative Bloq, we're huge fans of album artwork – thanks to our album art of the week series (opens in new tab), we were able to sift through a wide range of inspirational artwork. From photography to illustration, album artwork is the ultimate creative collaboration between two mediums; it's the visual representation of music and ultimately, something that should be cherished.
As music becomes more digitalised than ever before, album art is often left to a tiny square on a screen – the details lost to our quick-scrolling attitudes and five-second attention spans (opens in new tab). Album artwork used to be anticipated with as much enthusiasm as the album itself, with artists such as Peter Saville (opens in new tab), Kirk Weddle (opens in new tab) and Celia Philo (opens in new tab)'s designs still adorning the highstreet t-shirts of today.
These days you'd be hard pressed to find the details of the photographer, illustrator, graphic designer or art director of a recent release without some serious googling. So has our appreciation of album artwork dwindled or do we simply digest it in a different way?
"I think it's similar to film – the majority of people aren't really interested in the design and production side of things but there are plenty of people who love that angle, so you could never say it's not appreciated. Appreciation and popularity are not mutually exclusive," offers Public Service Broadcasting artist Graham Pilling (opens in new tab).
"It's the first thing that the listener is presented with and is definitely vital in representing what's within," adds illustrator Kieran Gabriel (opens in new tab). "I'm not necessarily the kind to seek credit when I've done work, that's not really why I do it, but I can't help but feel a little peeved when the artwork is almost presented on the side line, as though it's an afterthought.
"In the days of quick turn around and surprise albums, it's easy for the album artwork to be forgotten. I do feel the days of the iconic album cover have gone." Interestingly, 1975 album artist David Drake (opens in new tab) argues that album artwork is only there to serve it's purpose – not necessarily for the artist to feel appreciated.
"It's not about me," he begins. "My work is there to act as a compliment to their album, so it's only right to sit in the background – if somebody wants to find out who made the artwork, all they have to do is look in the sleeve credits."
"It depends on who you look to for appreciation," he continues. "From a major label A&R? Probably not the sort of appreciation you mean – but they do really appreciate somebody who can deliver to brief and work hard to get a result."
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