This brilliant album art is still blowing minds after 40 years

Boston album art
(Image credit: Boston)

From awesome to awful, we've seen all manner of album cover designs over the years. Get it right, and the design can become a bonafide classic – which is exactly the case with this example that's currently lighting up the internet.

The cover for Boston's self-titled 1976 album has re-emerged on Reddit, and users are loving the clever optical illusion it centres around. Think those are UFOs in the sky? Look a little closer, and you'll see that they're also guitars. (For more inspiration, check out the best print ads of all time.)

Boston album art showing three guitar-shaped spaceships escaping an exploding planet

The cover in all its glory (Image credit: Boston)

Created by famed graphic designer Paula Scher (then art director at CBS records), the cover depicts three guitar-shaped space ships fleeing an exploding planet. But it takes a while to spot the guitar strings and headstock – and some users are only just spotting them today.  

"Many people never noticed that the spaceship on the cover of Boston's self-titled album is actually a guitar upside-down. I am one of those people," reads a post on Reddit's r/DesignPorn page. "I am afraid to look at my album cover to verify this for fear that this is indeed true and I am an oblivious moron," one user comments, while another adds, "It is 2022, I am 50 years old, born in 1971. I was raised on this album...HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS??!!!!". "Paula Scher is a genius," another puts it simply.

album_cover from r/DesignPorn

And yet, it seems the only person who isn't a fan of the 39-year-old design is Scher herself. “It was, and still is, in my opinion, a mediocre piece of work," she told The Atlantic in 2015. Still, as the designer of some of the best logos of all time including CNN and Citi, perhaps it's unsurprising that she doesn't regard all of her work with the same reverence as the rest of us.

And let's not forget, creating an iconic album cover isn't easy. From Lana Del Rey's disastrous recent attempt to Drake's baffling collaboration with Damien Hirst, we've seen some shockers in the last few months alone. Fancy designing a cover of your own? Check out our guide on how to download Photoshop

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.