The artist behind The Cure's iconic album covers reveals his inspiration

Andy Vella illustrations from The Curepedia book
(Image credit: White Rabbit / Andy Vella)

Think of the alternative rock group The Cure and you'll surely picture Robert Smith's wild hair. But chances are you'll also recall the group's iconic album covers, with their very distinct visual flair. Many of these were the work of Andy Vella, an artist whose work has covered a vast range of disciplines, from photography to illustration, graphic design and commissioning. 

Vella formed the design agency Parched Art with The Cure's then guitarist Porl Thompson in the 1980s after a chance meeting on a train at the start of while he was still studying for an MA at the Royal College of Art. He went on to create covers for the likes of Jeff Buckley, Pavement, Primal Scream and Mogwai, to direct design at Fiction Records and acid house label Desire and to design book covers for major publishers, including for titles by Tobias Wolff, Nadine Gordimer, Stieg Larsson and Margaret Atwood (see our pick of the best album covers)

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Joe Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news, features and buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment and software for creatives, from video editing programs to monitors and accessories. A veteran news writer and photographer, he now works as a project manager at the London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives. There he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing visual content and design assets for the hospitality sector. He also dances Argentine tango.