Record sleeves of the year #11: Pet Shop Boys, Super

Pet Shop Boys, Super. Artwork by Farrow Design
Pet Shop Boys, Super. Artwork by Farrow

The cover for Pet Shop Boys album Super stands out for its simplicity. There is no band name or photography, just the name of the album in a fluorescent circle, suggesting a record that is upbeat and full of energy.

The cover was designed by Farrow, whose creative director Mark Farrow met the band while working at XL. He and his studio have created covers for 12 PSB albums and nine compilations.

Pet Shop Boys, Super. Artwork by Farrow
Pet Shop Boys, Super. Artwork by Farrow

“In our initial conversations with Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe … they described the album as being brash, pop and perhaps a little ‘unhinged’,” explains Farrow’s Gary Stillwell.

“They also suggested a few titles and we all agreed that ‘Super’ was the strongest. The simple brief was to encapsulate all these reference points in a single image. We quickly decided the cover should not be photographic and began to investigate bold graphic patterns and typography. Gradually, we reduced and refined these until we were left with a single fluorescent circle that, to us, conveyed the idea of ‘Super’.”

Pet Shop Boys, Super. Artwork by Farrow
Pet Shop Boys, Super. Artwork by Farrow

Pelle Crépin shot portraits of Tennant and Lowe for the gatefold art and the album comes in five colourways: pink and yellow for the CD, orange and green for vinyl, yellow and cyan for Apple Music, blue and magenta for Spotify and green and orange for other platforms.

Label: x2 Recordings Limited

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