Designing An Album

Design and music have long gone hand in hand. The album artwork is the first thing anyone will see, and if you get it right, it can really transform the music. Inspired by some interestingly designed covers by Tycho, a musician/designer, we decided to collate some of our favourite album covers of all time and explain what makes them so special.

Tycho’s combination of design and music might well be the perfect pairing. Combining his musicality with his knack for design, he has created some very interesting album artwork for his music. His ambient, upbeat music works in tandem with the bold colours and harsh edges of this geometric design and HEKKTA thinks he has hit the right note. His designs are simple yet effective and as with all great album covers, they are distinctive.

Tycho - Epoch album artwork

Tycho – Epoch album artwork

Tycho - Division single remixes artwork

Tycho – Division single remixes artwork

So what’s the big deal? It’s just a picture. Well no. Not really. An album cover really does set the tone for an album. It determines what it will say, how it will sound and also how people will subconciously interpret the album before it is even played.

The purpose of a cover is to define what the album is about, but a great cover will transcend that and it will actually be the embodiment of the artist and all the tracks true messages.

We decided to make a short list of our favourite covers; all for very different reasons.


In Colour – Jamie xx (2015)

In Colour - Jamie xx

In Colour – Jamie xx

There is no hidden secret as to why we like this one. The fact is, it’s just pleasing to look at. A spectrum of colour can never be out of place to the human eye and especially when this spectrum fits the style of music so perfectly. You can hear how the album will sound before it is even played. And if that style of music isn’t your thing, you can just pause it and stare at the pretty cover.


Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd (1973)

Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd

There was no way we could skip this one. It too has a spectrum, but an entirely different feel. The legend of this cover speaks for itself. Everyone recognises it, everyone likes it yet nobody truly understands what it is trying to say. But then again there are several times when we don’t know what Pink Floyd’s songs are trying to say. But whatever it is, you can bet it’s magical.


London Calling – The Clash (1979)

London Calling - The Clash

London Calling – The Clash

Although this was slightly ripped of Elvis, that is what makes this cover so special. The way they put two fingers to the past and say this is our music and you will like it. And we do, as there is nothing more Clash-like than a punk smashing up a guitar. One of HEKKTA’s favourite tunes made even better by a brilliant cover.


Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band  РThe Beatles (1967)

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

The iconic cover we all know too well. As we stated earlier, a great cover will set the tone of the album. This does that and more. From the garish uniforms that Paul, John, Ringo and George are sporting, to the celebrity faces dotted all over this slightly overwhelming and confusing cover, this album went on to define a period of time. So we think it certainly deserves a place on this list. Bit of a no brainer really?


Suck It And See – Arctic Monkeys (2011)

Suck It And See - Arctic Monkeys

Suck It And See – Arctic Monkeys

The brilliant simplicity of this cover echoes the attitude of the music on this album. It was after their 3rd album Humbug which many saw as a disappointment, so what better to call the following record than Suck It And See? We think it’s brilliant. No context needed, just shut up and listen. And if you don’t like this choice on our list, suck it.


Nevermind – Nirvana (1991)

Nevermind - Nirvana

Nevermind – Nirvana

This cover is all about shock factor. The rather innapropriate and weird artwork that it is caused a stir upon release, and that is certainly why, years after the bands retirement, it is still seen everywhere. A baby chasing money in a swimming pool. Not exactly wholesome and we’re certainly not quite comfortable looking at it, but that’s the point really. That was Nirvana’s whole image.


Original Pirate Material – The Streets (2002)

Original Pirate Material - The Streets

Original Pirate Material – The Streets

Perhaps a bit of a rogue choice, we’ll give you that. And this is one of HEKKTA’s favourite albums, so maybe a bit of bias. We’ll give you that too. But the music on this album just is this cover. Every time we listen to a song off this album, we think of this grimey estate block in the orange glow of the London streets. It echoes the place and music superbly and that is why it needs to be on this list. An album by, in our humble opinion, one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated artists of all time.

So these are just a few of our favourites. Can you think of any we’ve missed?

2017-12-28T11:10:26+00:00