Thursday, 9 July 2009

Cover Art Lives

With the rise of the Internet came the onslaught of the mp3. It devoured record companies and turned everything digital. Well, not quite. Hard Format has dedicated its time to preserving and celebrating vinyl, CDs, and other tangible forms of music through the cover art that went with them.

"Everybody's talking about the end of physical media. Digital distribution is incredibly convenient and there's no doubt it will be the dominant format, but there's definitely still a place for beautiful, engaging design. Hard Format celebrates our love of that." Writes Colin Buttimer, co- founder of the wonderful online archive of great cover designs, "We publish a weekly update on a chosen cover design and are gradually building up pages on key designers, labels and personal, themed collections."

Hard Format's Top Five Favourite Covers

Kraftwerk, Autobahn (Vertigo)
Absolutely iconic design, beloved of Peter Saville as well as ourselves. No one knows for sure who designed it either! Here's a link to the cover.

Kruder & Dorfmeister: K&D Sessions (!K7)
This was the subject of our first post on Hard Format. It was a CD sold off by a local library - we chose it because of the wear and tear it shows from its many listeners. It's like a talisman for Hard Format. See the CD here.

Albert Ayler: Ghost Box (Revenant)
The box, cast from the original owned by Albert Ayler himself, contains all sorts of memorabilia, seven CDs, a beautifully designed book and a dogwood flower, the artist's favourite. Can you believe a piece of record packaging could bring a tear to the eye? This one did. Take a look at the box.

Chain Reaction
We adore the utilitarian beauty of the first eight releases on Chain Reaction, arguably techno's most important label, even if they did sometimes shatter the CDs inside. Here's a link to it.

Money Will Ruin Everything (Rune Grammofon)
There's a little message inside that says "This book is a record cover". Rune Grammofon are exemplary in their love, style and dedication to brilliant new music. Peek inside.

By Colin Buttimer

No comments:

Post a Comment