It’s not unusual to see a performer’s face or image on the cover of their album – but seeing the exquisitely stylized and icon-like image of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer has resonated with me throughout the year. I am drawn to the visual texture in the image, the funky and strange typography, and the blend of warm, cool, and metallic hues.
Young Thug’s album/mixtape Slime Language showcases an interesting idea - rethinking representations of letters through sign language. The ASL paired with the harsh splatter of paint creates an interesting and somewhat arresting juxtaposition.
What draws me to all four of these book covers is their attention to detail and their overarching concept. The execution here is spot on - from the integration of numbers reading as text in Bitwise; or the riff on seeing a holy image in your toast in Heretics Anonymous; the little cues that tell you everything you need to know about The Library Book; or the brash and funny photograph at the center of Pretend I’m Dead. (Reviewing some of the book covers released each year is one of my favorite parts of the year!)
I really like the direct, in-your-face, awkwardness of the Eighth Grade poster. The main character’s image takes up about half of the poster, but is obstructed by her hand/cell phone and large type, which creates visual layers, ultimately hiding her. It is reminiscent of the film itself - endearing, honest, and sometimes a bit awkward.
The Chappaquiddick poster is incredibly successful in it’s simplicity and it’s ability to layer concept, execution, and composition. The over-the-top nod to the American flag paired with the image of sinking car in blue water is a perfect map. The no-frills typography feels nostalgic for the time period, too.