August 4, 2013

Inspired by Depeche Mode’s “Fly on the Windscreen”

There isn’t as much emphasis on the album artwork cover as there used to be, when a giant foot by foot picture used to grace the covers of LPs sitting in crates at your local music shop.  Back when album artwork had to be printed without computers, it literally took skilled artists to create something worthwhile.  Before Photoshop was in charge of creating impossible images, artists had to use other techniques like airbrushing to get the desire effect.  The result was that only a handful of album images became art on their own.  Something like Pink Floyd’s album cover, with the rainbow created from a prism, will be remembered as a “classic” album cover.

While the artwork is no longer center stage on an album cover, there is a positive side to things.  Artwork is used as a thumbnail reference to a song, and even when you do not own the artwork, most music player and programs can extract it from a repository on the internet.  So basically the user does not have to do anything, and the artwork will retrieve itself.  DJs are pretty adapted at recognizing music using artwork and other visuals to speed up their identification process during a set.