How I Work: Richard Welland, Warner / Parlophone Creative

As Creative Director at Warner and Parlophone Music, Richard Welland has created album art for Liam Gallagher, Bat for Lashes and Lily Allen. Here he explains what it’s like behind-the-scenes at a major label…

Richard Welland has what many creatives would consider a dream job. Heading up a team of four at Warner Music and Parlophone, he creates album and single artwork for the labels’ diverse roster of artists. Here, he discusses working with established and lesser-known musicians, being resourceful on shrinking budgets and the process of designing a sleeve…

The first stage of designing an album cover Wherever possible we always start with arranging a meeting [with the artist]. We ask them to make a small mood board showing us things they like or dislike, things that inspire them or images they’ve seen that have stood out or resonated with them [to] get a feel of what they are aspiring for.

Some artists will have a vague idea of what they want – maybe photographs and colours themes they like – and others might have a complete concept in place like Natasha Khan [Bat for Lashes].