Universal Music’s Secret 7″ competition seeks 350 designers

Universal Music’s Secret 7” competition is seeking 350 artists to reinterpret classic record-sleeve designs.

Stylorouge for Ben Howard in 2012
Pete Fowler for DJ Shadow in 2012

The winning interpretations will be exhibited alongside those of established illustrators and artists anonymously with buyers paying a flat rate of £40 not knowing whose work they’re buying.

Last year the maiden exhibition raised £33,500 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. This year all profits will be donated to Art Against Knives.

Central Station for Bombay Bicycle Club in 2012
Central Station for Bombay Bicycle Club in 2012

The organisers have already approached 350 artists and designers to work on their own versions of this year’s Secret 7” records: Elton John – Bennie & the Jets, HAIM – Better Off, Jessie Ware – Still Love Me, Laura Marling – The Beast, Nas – The Don, Nick Drake – Rider on the Wheel, and Public Enemy – Harder Than You Think.

Another 350 are now being sought through a public competition hosted by Talenthouse, accessible from the Secret 7” website.

Stylorouge for Ben Howard in 2012
Anouska Hempel for Florence and the Machine in 2012

Talenthouse has a page for each record, which looks like this where you can upload your entry.

A team comprising Secret 7” (Universal Music), Clash Magazine, ad agency Mother and Art Against Knives will whittle the entries down until 50 are selected for each track.

David Shrigley for The Cure in 2012
David Shrigley for The Cure in 2012

In some cases the recording artists themselves will help with the selection process. Last year it is understood that Robert Smith had the final say on The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love art work.

Mother’s gallery will be used to host an exhibition with the 700 one-of-a-kind vinyl covers, which will be presented as limited-edition vinyl pressings, made with The Vinyl Factory.

Stylorouge for Ben Howard in 2012
Anouska Hempel for The Cure in 2012

Then on Record Store Day, 20 April, visitors can purchase their favourite sleeves, but crucially not knowing who it’s by – or even which song it is – until it’s paid for.

Brian Grimwood for Ben Howard in 2012
Brian Grimwood for Ben Howard in 2012

Entrants have until 10am on 18 February to apply. Details can be found here: http://secret-7.com/

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