We’re usually blown away by the range in style and aesthetically pleasing sleeve covers for the Best Art Vinyl competition, but this year the talent is exceptional, and we’re sharing with you some of our favourite 2017 nominees.
Every year Art Vinyl launches the Best Art Vinyl competition which searches for and celebrates the most creative, diverse and well-designed record sleeves over the past year, to join the 12 previous winners.
A list of 50 different sleeve covers has been created by music industry design experts and previous Best Art Vinyl Award winners. The organisation says from Thursday November 16 at midday you’ll be able to vote for you three 2017 favourites online or in person at participating galleries, however it seems you can jump online and vote now. The public vote ultimately decides the overall winner.
This year you can choose from the record covers of artists such as Lorde, Beck, Katy Perry, Bonobo, Queens of the Stone Age and Calvin Harris.
Album: Gorillaz, Humanz
Artwork: Jamie Hewlett
A travelling exhibition of the best designs from 12 years of the competition will visit galleries in the UK and European cities such as Budapest, Munich and Bologna, beginning at London’s Hari Hotel on January 9 – the same evening the final winner will be announced.
"The humble vinyl record has not only bucked consumer trends, it has created them, and the artwork has been a major factor in this increased popularity," says Best Art Vinyl founder Andrew Heeps.
"In 2017 I’ve often wondered, what is the motivation for people when buying new vinyl, the art or the music or probably both. It is therefore the sleeve design that becomes the visual expression and identity for the music contained within."
Album: Beck, Colours
Last year Matthew Cooper’s design for The Last Shadow Puppets second album – Everything You’ve Come to Expect – won overall, closely followed by Jonathan Barnbrook’s retrospectively intricate Blackstar design for David Bowie’s last album before his death. Previous winners also include David Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock, created by the Hipgnosis design studio under the guidance of The Creative Corporation, art directed by Dave Stansbie, and Dan Hillier’s design for Royal Blood in 2014.
We spoke to Matthew Cooper to discover how he designed last year’s best album cover and his work for Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys and Paul McCartney.
We've also spoken to Queens of the Stoneage artist Boneface on his album art for their 2013 album, Like Clockwork, and here's Boneface's artwork for this year’s album Villains.
Take a look at our favourite vinyl sleeve designs from 2017's Best Art Vinyl nominees.
Album: Lorde, Melodrama
Artwork: Sam McKinniss
You can read about how he created this artwork in The New Yorker.
Album: Circa Waves, Different Creatures
Artwork: We Art You
Album: Modern English, Take Me to the Trees
Artwork: Art Direction Vaughan Oliver, painting by Katie Whitbread
Album: Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 3
Artwork: Art Direction & Photography Timothy Saccenti, Drawing Nick Gazin, Layout Troy Hahn
Album: Temples, Volcano
Artwork: Jonathan Zawada
See Jonathan's work that earned third place in the Best Art Vinyl awards in 2016, for Mark Prithcard's solo album, Under the Sun.
Album: Soulwax, From Deewee
Artwork: III Studio (creative direction, photography), Younes (Photography)
Album: Pixx, The Age of Anxiety
Artwork: Alison Fielding
Artwork: Jesse Kanda
Album: Keymono, Anthology
Artwork: Vinylize and Ilosfai Márton