David Bowie’s first album in ten years is, as always, causing quite a stir. The cover alone has divided fans and designers alike. The Guardian calls it ‘A Masterstroke’ and raves about it’s simplistic genius. Others consider it a joke, going as far as to guarantee it a place alongside the top 10 worst album covers in history.
Designer Jonathan Barnbrook explains his concept and approach in an interesting article on his blog:
We wanted the cover to be as minimal and undesigned as possible, we felt the most elegant solution was to use the original one from “Heroes” and simply cross out the title of the old album. It has the detachment appropriate for the atmosphere of the new album.
…we know it is only an album cover with a white square on it but often in design it can be a long journey to get at something quite simple which works and that simplicity can work on many levels – often the most simple ideas can be the most radical.
As a fan of both Bowie’s music and his album art, I’m on the fence. As much as I admire the thought process above, it’s no Lodger.
On the other hand, if this minimalistic new approach starts a new trend and the re-purposing of old covers becomes the next big craze it’s going to be really easy to them pump out. I plan to get in on the ground floor here by proposing some of my original designs.
But seriously, what are your thoughts on the new album?