Beck’s DIY Album Cover

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that the sleeve for Beck’s forthcoming album, The Information is a fairly shoddy effort. The artist’s name is rendered in Lego-esque building block letters against a light blue graph-paper grid. And that’s it.

However, design work on the sleeve has been going on for the best part of a year under the art direction of Gerard Saint and Mat Maitland at Big Active, and has involved no less than 20 image-makers, including David Foldvari, Jody Barton, Genevieve Gauckler, Michael Gillette, Jasper Goodall, Parra and Kam Tang.

Their efforts only become apparent once the packaging is opened. Inside every album is one of four totally different sticker sheets, each crammed full of graphics. The idea, of course, being that you design your own sleeve at home using the stickers provided.

“The packaging was conceived by Big Active and Beck as a means to create an experience integral to the physical CD format,” explains Saint. “It’s actually highly reflective of Beck’s idiosyncratic and creative approach to his art,” he continues. “It invites the listener to get involved and participate in the experience of the album.” The Information is released on 3 October on Umusic.


More from CR

The Book

Last year’s D&AD Annual broke with tradition. Until then, the practice had been to hand the cover design over to either an ad agency or a design studio (they took turns) while treating the inside pages as a separate project. The result was a kind of packaging arms race where each year the challenge often seemed to be to produce the most ludicrous, overblown and often totally inappropriate solution possible.
Thankfully, sanity finally prevailed and, in 2005, D&AD gave over the whole book to Spin. The result was a beautifully-produced, conceptually consistent book which succeeded in honouring those chosen while also underlining D&AD’s charitable status.
This year, Design Project were chosen to produce the Annual. Check back later in the week for an interview with the designers on the project. In the meantime, have a look at what they did with it…

Here we go again…

If you can hear the sound of tabloid knives been sharpened, it’s because this year’s annual opportunity to bash contemporary art, the Turner Prize exhibition, is poised to open at London’s Tate Britain.

James Joyce

In common with many of his contemporaries, James Joyce supplemented his full-time job at a design studio with a stream of freelance work, including promotional badges and flyers for monthly clubnight It’s Bigger Than (CR Oct 04) and window graphics for London’s Carhartt store (CR April).

Breaking News

Thanks to London’s evening paper wars, commuters now have a choice of two freesheets to grab absentmindedly as they head home. Last night, those who picked up Rupert Murdoch’s thelondonpaper got quite a shock.
Its front page appeared to splash on the assassination of President George W Bush. A grainy black and white photograph taking up almost the whole page showed the President clutching at his chest, while frantic aides hustled him away. Stern type below spelled out the enormity of what had (apparently) happened: George W Bush: 6 July 1946-Tonight 9PM. Heh?

Senior Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency

Head of Digital Content

Red Sofa London