Hat tip to the bands, solo artists and labels who hired up-and-coming designers and visual artists to create album cover artwork in 2016. Three major trends stood out to us:
Typography is still king. We saw retro typefaces like the ones used by Freakwater and Nice As F*#k, ATCQ, Carey Ott and Robert Glasper’s albums both use hastily handwritten scrawl, and Santigold and Frankie Cosmos both used integrated type in a stylish way.
Celestial bodies and otherworldly elements are here to stay. We saw both the apocalyptic and “we come in peace” variety. Shine on, starshine.
And collage is making a comeback. Compare Twin Peaks Down in Heaven to Yeasayer’s Amen and Goodbye to see the wide range in technical execution and sophistication.
We also saw a ton of candid childhood photos, black and white everything, and did we mention type-driven album covers? It really is hard to pick favorite, but try anyway. Let us know which 2016 album covers you loved (and hated!) in the comments.