CR Blog

Art Vinyl's sleeves of the year

Graphic Design

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 13 November 2009, 9:23    Permalink    Comments (50)

Design: Ben Wilkerson Tousley, Drawings: William J O'Brien, Text: Amelia Bauer

Last year it was Fleet Foxes' eponymous album – but what will be your sleeve of 2009? Art Vinyl has just opened up the voting in its annual poll...

CR submitted a few nominations to Art Vinyl's list of 50 this year and, below, we've included a pick of some of the best (designers credited where known).

You can vote for your own favourite sleeve, here (it doesn't have to be on the list of suggestions) and you'll then have the chance of winning one of six Art Vinyl Play & Display triple-packs to show off your own treasured records.

Simply nominate three examples of cover art from this year – LPs, 12" singles or EPs.

Design: Work Associates. You can read about this great sleeve, here

Design: Ian Anderson & Jarvis Cocker, Photography: Rankin, 

Design Rob Carmichael at Seen, Photography Jason Frank

Flaming Lips, Embryonic. Design: George Salisbury

Photography: Chris Taylor

Design: Farrow Design

Design and illustration: Martin Ander

Atlas Sound, Logos. Art direction/design: Bradford Cox, photography: Edith Cox


Bill Callahan
Fever ray
2009-11-13 10:44:58

For sheer simplicity the Jarvis Cocker sleeve is ace.
Ben Gilman
2009-11-13 10:48:46

Buraka Som Sistema yo?
2009-11-13 10:53:48

have a look at the catalogue also a lot of gems in there we think ;)
2009-11-13 11:59:54

Looking at the above list I can't help getting the impression that the writer(s) are just into white, middle brow music. Not a single pop, dance or hiphop sleeve was good enough?
2009-11-13 12:03:28

His name is Bradford Cox.
2009-11-13 12:33:36

Thanks, have amended.
CR Mark Sinclair
2009-11-13 12:41:27

@Evan, maybe you would like to suggest some Pop, Dance, or Hip-Hop album art that you feel deserves a mention? I'm sure there are lots of album sleeves from genres outside of my preferred listening habits where I'm missing out on seeing some great artwork, so to be shown some of this would be a nice change.
Mark Gamble
2009-11-13 12:49:52

Muse The Resistance
2009-11-13 12:57:11

Jarvis Cocker (best by by a country mile), Fever Ray, Bill Callahan

To many covers these days seem to follow the default 'make it look like we're a real band with integrity yeah?' shorthand of bad photography coupled with rubbish typography...
2009-11-13 13:02:07

Ive seen bits of this campaign popping up over the last few months, great simplicity, cinematic referencing photography and type. There is alot more but i found some of it here
2009-11-13 13:30:46

It has to be Jarvis Cockers album.
The insides are gorgeous and fits well with the actual music on the CD !
I watched him on Wednesday>>>

The poster alone is amazing !

Based on his performance on wednesday and the one other time i watched him before summer i can say that it/he deffianlty gets my vote !
2009-11-13 13:32:33

my pick: Nudge - As Good as Gone
2009-11-13 13:34:44

the pet shop boys cover is the best i've seen for a while. good post.
Gavin Lawrence
2009-11-13 13:35:40

It's gotta be the Rakes album cover for me.
Why? Well for one, I'm pissed at seeing artists on the covers of their own albums and two, I just really like typographic stuff.
2009-11-13 14:03:23

The Fever Ray one is a complete rip-off of Charles Burns.

Personally, really like Ben Drury's Dizzee Rascal sleeves this year:
2009-11-13 14:39:36

Middle-class, faux-intellectual ponces’ sleeves of the year, more like....
2009-11-13 15:21:36

THEY ALL BORE ME.... where is the creativity????
2009-11-13 15:21:53

ruan milborrow
2009-11-13 15:22:25

Would love to design a CD or Vinyl cover. Not sure I agree that is are the best of the year!
bibi @ bibigallery
2009-11-13 15:29:28

Would love to design a CD or Vinyl cover. Not sure I agree that is are the best of the year!
bibi @ bibigallery
2009-11-13 15:40:15

Grizzly Bear for sheer genius of the whole package: music, artwork, videos & live performance.

Oh - & the Flaming Lips - although the sleeve artwork is actually a bit thin on the ground.
2009-11-13 16:11:22

i dont know... but for 2010 the delphic cover by non format is incredible
2009-11-13 16:26:55

this is pretty unknown, but nice

Metal On Metal - Damn!

by Ana Bagayan
2009-11-13 16:39:14

It's gotta be the Rakes album cover for me.
Why? Well for one, I'm pissed at seeing artists on the covers of their own albums and two, I just really like typographic stuff.
2009-11-13 17:09:36

The Clientele - Bonfires on the heath
2009-11-13 17:14:33

Funnily enough we were only looking at the Atlas Sound CD in the office yesterday and remarking on how it was the ugliest, silliest, most counter-productive record cover we had seen in a very long time. Still, takes all sorts.
Andrew Harrison
2009-11-13 17:44:50


It pains me to look at this bland selection of covers deemed to be among the best designs of the year.

Whatever happened to creativity and artistic talent? Only the typeface on the Rakes cover is the slightest bit worthy of being in this top 50. The rest look like weak artschool efforts!

Come on....... maintain some standards!
2009-11-13 17:50:13

@moo Do you have any examples of better album artwork from 2009?
2009-11-13 18:23:34

SOOOO BORING, I am struggling to write anything other than childish remarks as I am too bored to think of anything useful to say.
If this is indicative of 2009 then let's just pack up now. Arbiters of taste huh?! Rubbish white boys nonsense.
suzie webb
2009-11-13 18:41:27

Not sure about the PSB artwork. Looks like Farrow just reassembled Peter Saville's color code into a checkmark.

Nirav Vyas
2009-11-13 19:27:37

The Flaming Lips one rules! Go George.
Sara M.
2009-11-13 20:49:32

Pet shop boys, easy!
2009-11-13 21:49:53

Rakes = Tom Vek ?
david janes
2009-11-14 01:11:50

Oh dear no Hip-Hop? No gangstas in sunglasses pointing aggressively? I'm getting design deprivation here. Maybe the work that's shown here is actually better that all that which in itself is something to wonder about.
Roger Mann
2009-11-14 11:04:25

Iron&Wine for me. Although you would have to see the inside/booklet too. The Rakes one is good too.
Jarvis Cocker as well.
2009-11-14 17:40:05

Salisbury is GODLIKE.
the duty
2009-11-14 21:09:03

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent
2009-11-15 17:02:57

I really like the Biffy Clyro cover:

Muse too.
2009-11-15 23:40:07

One of Us - Kryptic Minds...
Harmonia & Eno '76 (Shackleton / Appleblim & Komonazmuk Mixes)
Baby, It's Cold Inside - The Fun Years
AUS - Light In August, Later
Get some diversity!
Patrick Guilfoyle
2009-11-16 00:08:11

.... hmmm, seems like Arial is trumping Helvetica these days, in various weights ...

Nothing here really wows me.
If I HAD to pick from those shown it'd likely be the Pet Shop Boys.
Nice clean eye-grabbing graphic, if a somewhat utillitarina use of type.
Pity the music is forgettable ...
2009-11-16 16:48:02

Pet Shop Boys sleeve is the best - really stands out is minimal, clean & crisp.

The album itself was actually pretty good as well (except for track 11)
Adam Jones
2009-11-17 09:04:05

Don't you think that the illustrations from the last Muse (the Resistance) are GREAT!?
I think it could easily fit in this list!
2009-11-17 10:56:41

Terrible Retro typography, ham fisted concepts, and just plain boring images, take a look at the seventies for proper work.
2009-11-17 10:57:52

My 3 favourite of 2009

Lee Fields -

The Yellow Moon Band -

Efterklang -
2009-11-17 21:53:52

Like that none of it is that samey vector stuff, all original and varied, a great selection.
2009-11-18 11:31:04

Have to agree on the middle brow cussing upthread. Second on the efterklang artwork, wonderful as always a and all on 12k/line though my personal favourite has to be sunn 0)) & Pan Sonic

Shame the record wasnt quite as perfect as the package though
stephen mclaughlin
2009-11-18 12:15:21

Skunk Anansie definitely gets my vote.
Large pic here:
Also a big fan of the La Boca sleeves!
James T
2009-11-18 19:29:10

I don't know what all of you are complaining about. That Grizzly Bear cover is gorgeous. Love how the typography relates to the beautiful cover drawing. An overall wonderful campaign from them. Some of the other selections are a little meh, though. Would've like to see The Clientele or the Vetiver covers get more love.
2009-11-22 18:30:23

Bill Callahan!!!!!
2009-12-17 06:29:25

Tell us what you think

What happens with my feedback?

We no longer require you to register and have a password in order to comment, simply fill in the form below. All comments are moderated so you may experience a short delay before your comment appears. CR encourages comments to be short and to the point. As a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

Get the RSS Feed