Ringo Starr - Liverpool 8 is a nice example of a straightforward, zero-bullshit yet somewhat obscure album cover. Big bold centred red eight on black with a smidgen of white, and two stars as counters. There’s an urban scene hidden somewhere in there but it’s not very clear what it is exactly. The typeface is H&FJ’s Knockout or Champion Gothic.
Although I’m not really a fan of their ‘less alternative than they’d like you to believe’ rock, I must admit I quite like the cover for Arid - All things come in waves. I’ve griped before about the lack of integration of type in album covers, and this one does an admirable job at it. It is a very strong composition, with the lower two thirds of the cover plain white. The greyscale image in the blue brush zone has a beautiful painterly quality. Fair enough, DIN 1451 Mittelschrift/FF DIN is not exactly the most adventurous choice in type, but that wide semiserif custom logo still looks mighty fine.
I’m not sure what the duplicated photograph in three different colours on the cover collection Cat Power - Jukebox means or stands for. Probably a metaphor for what happens when an artist covers a song – (s)he makes a slightly to very different duplicate. The general feel reminds me of work by legendary graphic designer Bradbury Thompson. In that context the obligatory ITC Avant Garde Gothic that graces the top of the cover can be considered an anachronism, but it actually looks pretty fine.
The album cover for Joe Jackson - Rain is reminiscent of the legendary classic Blue Note sleeves. The image framed by the huge album title in customized lowercase Compacta, the red artist name neatly filling up the room under the ‘r’, the red dot on the ‘i’, the track names at the top right – everything’s picture-perfect. Plus it’s done with respect for the source material it’s inspired upon, without irony, and without copying any existing example.
No Blue Note jazz influences to be seen on the album cover for Jack Johnson - Sleep through the static, but more like fifties crooner-style. The delicate red-grey-blue gradient behind the black and white picture is very tastefully done, as is the bold brush lettering and the album title in Clarendon caps. Adding the little star might seem trivial but it actually is the icing on the cake. Classy.
To be honest I find the album title on the cover for K.D. Lang – Watershed really silly. There’s more than enough ligatures in Mrs. Eaves, so if you decide to alter any or add even more you’d better make sure they’re shit-hot, not clunky like that dodgy ‘a-t-e’ ligature. I fear this designer believes (s)he’s far smarter than (s)he actually is.
This is silly as well, but deliciously so. Morcheeba - Dive deep sports a wonderful campy cover, a scene which looks like something you’d rather find in one of those cheap kitsch fish tanks. Letters constructed out of squid tentacles probably are the coolest thing you’ll ever see. The Morcheeba logo was also done by hand and exudes this cosy vernacular atmosphere.
And judging from Christoph’s recent comment in the last episode of Screenfonts, FontFont might have something special lined up for the updated version of FF Trixie. Looking forward to that! :)