If you're a desktop Spotify user like me, you might've noticed that the platform recently added the album cover art next to the song titles on your playlists. Not only did I realize how much I genuinely love album covers with this update, but I also realized how much they say about the music without saying anything at all. The typography is outstanding, the photography is often full of emotional tendencies, and the colors, oh man, the color choices say more than words could ever.
Album cover art offers a visual peek into the audio that's about to bless your ears, and when it's combined with all that aural gold, that's when the real magic happens.
Today we're sharing five album cover designers that also happen to have outstanding Instagram accounts. So not only will you be inspired to listen to the albums they've designed (while checking out some of their other graphic work), but you might even feel inspired to design something creative as well.
Creating work for Smithsonian Folkways, The Grateful Dead, and The Rose City Band, Darryl Norsen's account comes chockful of all the vibes you need to get you through the day. While you'll most definitely find designs that flawlessly combine the psychedelic with old west aesthetics, you'll also find jazzy, eclectic, and even simple designs. In addition, the wide range of images posted to this feed is sure to make you appreciate the depth of thought that goes into designing record covers, concert posters, and, well, and any other print materials regarding music.
This Kentucky-based artist knows how to mix colors that will shift your mood before even hearing anything. Robert's feed is a beautiful compilation of colors that make up different designs, and each post is a visual feast for your eye holes. One of my favorite album covers is the one he created for Walterwarm's Archetypes, and the creamy orange background paired with straightforward type above a sleek and intriguing illustration almost makes you feel like you could melt into your feet below you. And that's just one post on this feed; all of them have something beautiful to offer.
Nicholas Fulcher is an art director and designer most known for his work in music but is also a Black culture advocate and a philanthropist. While this Instagram feed also features lifestyle images and design work, most of the posts featured are Nicholas' album cover creation or art director assists. Most of them, if not all, are incredibly dynamic, with darker colors, clear emotions, and typography that doesn't skip a beat; there's sincere emotion behind this work. It's clean and fresh, but most importantly, it's created with an effortless and genuine passion.
Not only is Alicia an art director and album cover designer, but she's also the singer and bassist in the band Ganser, and her creations have that personal touch that some are flat-out missing. The latest album, Just Look At That Sky, features a bright yellow background with a circularly framed black and white image of a woman wearing sunglasses. It's crisp and full of emotional undertones that only get revealed once you press play. Also, the typography on the You Must Be New Here EP and her t-shirt designs for the Chicago venue The Empty Bottle are pretty swoon-worthy.
The first word that comes to mind when scrolling through Joe Perez's feed is "style." He clearly has an editorial eye, and the images shared throughout his feed evoke a sense of high-end quality. The creative director has worked on album covers for artists such as Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky, and Janelle Monáe. Perez isn't putting out Busch league work, and while these are massive artists and pop stars he's working with, his work features a distinct touch of thoughtfulness, creativity, and intensity.