Secret 7” reveals sleeve designs from Jean Jullien, Morag Myerscough and Anish Kapoor

2020 marks the seventh and final year of the secretive record sleeve design auction, which is raising money for Help Refugees.

Secret 7”, the anonymous record sleeve design competition, has named the creatives behind this year’s work which include Morag Myerscough, Jean Jullien and Anish Kapoor.

The annual competition takes seven tracks from music artists and presses them into seven-inch vinyl 100 times. It then asks 700 creatives to design a unique sleeve for the records.

Jean Jullien for One Step Ahead

The list usually includes a mix of well-known and up-and-coming creatives from a range of sectors including illustration and photography. Among this year’s diverse cohort are film director Michel Gondry and fine artist Gavin Turk.

The designs are then exhibited (this year at Now Gallery in Greenwich, London) before being auctioned off for charity – those bidding do not know who has designed the sleeve at the time of purchase. Neither do they know which track the design aligns with.

At Sunday’s auction, £134,000 was raised for the humanitarian aid charity Help Refugees. The competition has also now named the creatives responsible for each sleeve and made them available to view online.


From Vampire Weekend to Aretha Franklin

Michel Gondry for One Step Ahead

2020 marks the seventh and final year of the competition and the chosen singles represent a range of genres, from rock to soul.

The seven tracks were: One Step Ahead by Aretha Franklin, Harmony Hall by Vampire Weekend, Toast by Koffee, This Is A Call by Foo Fighters, Blind Willie McTell by Bob Dylan, Miles Runs The Voodoo Down by Miles Davis and Come Over by The Internet.

Morag Myerscough for Miles Runs The Voodoo Down

British designer Morag Myerscough has created a typically colourful design, which shows a geometric pattern painted on top of wood for Miles Davis’ Miles Runs The Voodoo Down.

French graphic designer and illustrator Jean Jullien has contributed a painted picture of a baby dancing for One Step Ahead.

Anish Kapoor for One Step Ahead

The competition shows how creatives can react differently to the same piece of music; British sculptor Anish Kapoor’s design for Aretha Franklin’s track is a more abstract take than Jullien’s, for example.

London-based design studio Patternity (which specialises in patterns) has created a cover for Vampire Weekend’s Harmony Hall reminiscent of an optical illusion.

Patternity for Harmony Hall

Several designers have created playful sleeves for the singles. Graphic designer Alex Turner’s cover for Toast simply features a photograph of an empty toast rack.

Illustrator Dan Genders meanwhile has designed a cover for This Is A Call inspired by the famous telephone scene from hostage film Taken starring Liam Neeson.

Dan Genders for This Is A Call

Also featured is illustrator Jessica Meyrick’s cover for Toast, depicting a woman with her food shopping (including a loaf of bread) while furniture designer Bethan Gray’s cover for One Step Ahead, shows a model of a patterned staircase.

Jessica Meyrick for Toast

You can view the full range of designs in an online gallery here. While the sleeves have been auctioned off already, a run of test pressings which are encased in sleeves gilded with gold are available for people to bid on still.

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  • BG Brand November 10, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    You said “vinyls”. The plural of ‘vinyl’ is ‘records’, as any fule kno.

    • Tom Banks November 11, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Thanks for your note. Our house style for the plural of “vinyl” is “vinyl” and this has been changed accordingly

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