Best Art Vinyl

While digital may have superseded physical as the most common way to buy music, there’s nothing to suggest that this shift away from record boxes and CD racks has marked a decline in the drive to create brilliant, innovative record sleeves.

Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes
Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes

In fact, it’s anything but, judging by this year’s shortlist for best vinyl design proves.

Now in its eighth year, the annual Best Art Vinyl prize celebrates the most exciting record sleeves of the year, judged via public vote.

Ital, Hive Mind
Ital, Hive Mind

Previous winners have included La Boca’s design for Muse’s LP The Resistance , Richard Robinson and Gareth Pritchard for Klaxons’ Surfing The Void and least year’s winner, Zack Nipper’s design for  The People’s Key LP by Bright Eyes.

Today, all of the 50 nominations will be shown online and in exhibitions across Europe, the US and Australia; with the winner announced on 10 January.

Four Tet, Pink
Four Tet, Pink, by Jason Evans and Tazelaar Stevenson

Among our highlights from the stupendously beautiful list of nominations are Animal Collective’s psychedelic Centipede Hz cover, an electrifying piece of art by Dave Portner, Abby Portner and Rob Carmichael:

Animal Collective, Centipede Hz
Animal Collective, Centipede Hz, by Dave Portner, Abby Portner and Rob Carmichael

Oddball pop star and queen of peculiar tweets Grimes created her own artwork for the album Visions, resulting in this rather terrifying monochrome skull design:

Grimes, Visions
Grimes, Visions, by Grimes

As always, Hot Chip manage to continue their signature bold palette and geometric forms with this cover for In Our Heads, by Nick Relph. It’s always a joy to see their artwork, with their instantly recognisable branding, which has subtly evolved throughout their career to brilliant effect.

Hot Chip  In Our Heads
Hot Chip In Our Heads, by Nick Relph

Dorothy’s wonderful cover for Saint Etienne’s Words and Music is also rightfully among the nominations. Dorothy created an updated map for the band using its song titles, and with a layout based on the streets of Croydon, where the band grew up.

Saint Etienne, Words And Music
Saint Etienne, Words And Music, by Dorothy

Best Art Vinyl founder Andrew Heeps, says, ‘For seven years now Art Vinyl have championed the diverse, the vibrant and the different creative styles that still exist in record cover art and design. This year we hope to gather the most opinions on sleeve design ever recorded, many of which have provided a visual soundtrack to 2012.’

Grizzly Bear, Shields
Grizzly Bear, Shields, by Richard Diebenkorn – Blue Club

The Art Vinyl UK exhibition runs from 8 November – 13 January 2013 at The St Martins Lane Hotel 45 St Martins Lane, London WC2N


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