David Bowie - The Next Day

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.

David Bowie 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.

The Stooges - Fun house / raw power

The Clash - London Calling/Sandinista

AC DC - Dirty Deeds / Back in Black

The beatles - the white album / abbey road

Pink Floyd - Dark side of the moon / wish you were here

But seriously, what are your thoughts on the new album?

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One Response to David Bowie – The Next Day album art

  1. Shirley Leese says:

    Bowie studied art, music, and design, including layout and typesetting. After Terry Burns, his half-brother, introduced him to modern jazz, his enthusiasm for players like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane led his mother to give him a plastic alto saxophone in 1961; he was soon receiving lessons from a local musician.’`

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