Album Cover Hall of Fame – Interviews with Album Cover Designers

Album Cover Hall of Fame – Interviews with Album Cover Designers

Lawrence Azerrad – In early 2021, Lawrence (along with his chief collaborator, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy) was awarded with a Grammy for the impressive special-edition package he created for Wilco’s critically-acclaimed studio record, Ode To Joy. This was the second time that Lawrence has been so honored and, if you’ll take a moment to look at the interview I did with him on this project – which included a hand-made, intricately-detailed pop-up book – you’ll begin to understand why it’s such a treat to watch what happens when two immensely-talented artists team up to create and produce something quite special for fans.

Don Clark – The September, 2007 release of the Foo Fighters’ Echoes Silence Patience Grace album earned the band much praise, tour receipts and two Grammy Awards, including the one for “Best Rock Album”. The inspired cover for the record was done by the Seattle-based design team of Don and Ryan Clark (AKA “Invisible Creature”), who shared the details behind their work in this interview

Nick Egan – Famed producer of punk music, art and fashion Malcolm McLaren’s 1983 release Duck Rock was the impresario’s attempt to drive home the importance of the many types of music available to the musically curious, with his own recordings highlighting these multi-cultural (Latin, African, Carribean, rap, etc.). To provide readers with an understanding of how this package came together, I interviewed the record’s art director – noted designer/director Nick Egan – in 2013 to ask him about collaborating with McLaren on this influential work

James Faulkner – In the 80s and 90s, as computer-aided design was integrated into a product’s development and production, sometimes the tools that were “state of the art” at the time were found to be challenging (read “next to impossible”) to use. In the production of the cover for PiL’s 1989 release simply titled 9 (which stood for the fact that it was the band’s ninth record), the art team hired a talented technician (Mr. Faulkner) who operated the Dutch-built pre-press graphics machine called  the Aesthedes which was used, ultimately, to help build the image found on 9‘s cover

Hugh Gilmour – When the team behind guitarist Tony Iommi’s band Iommi approached Sanctuary Record’s former Head of Design (a well-known “metal head” and then independent graphic designer) Hugh Gilmour to create the packaging for their 2005 release Fused, it only made sense because, as Hugh told me in 2007, it was Black Sabbath’s fault that he got a job in the music industry in the first place

Regan Hagar – As he approached the task of creating the packaging and ancillary materials that would accompany all the retail versions of Eddie Vedder’s solo album titled Ukulele Songs (released in May, 2011), Seattle-area designer Regan Hagar brought his unique combination of perspectives as a graphic artist, musician and long-time friend of Vedder and his Pearl Jam bandmates to bear when approaching this assignment

Mick Haggerty – One of the first truly multi-media artists on hire to the music industry, Grammy Award-winning designer Mick Haggerty was brought on in 1982 to create an eye-catching package design for Vacation by the Go-Gos and, as he explains in this 2007 interview, he used the opportunity to develop a concept that succeeded as the basis for a wide variety of promotional needs

Jann Haworth – When the team of artists Jann Haworth and Peter Blake (along with photographer Michael Cooper and a small crew of other talented contributors) were hired by The Beatles to produce a memorable album cover for their Sgt. Pepper’s release in 1967, their  resulting efforts created an image that ALWAYS is in the “Top 5” (and, usually, coming in at #1) of any credible “Best Album Covers of All Time” listings. I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Jann about this cover and her career as an influential Pop artist in December, 2020 – enjoy –

Mike Hrubovcak – While the musicianship is undeniable, “death metal” has, for most part, remained outside of the mainstream, due primarily to the principal themes of the songwriting (i.e., death, destruction, mayhem) and the accompanying lyrics and visual. In late 2008, I published an interview with one of the genre’s current masters, illustrator Mike Hrubovcak. As you’ll see, the process of creating eye/vein-popping cover art for Grave’s 2008 record Exhumed is a familiar one, but with a few sinister twists

David Juniper – Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin II,  released in October, 1969, became the first LZ album to go to #1 on the U.S. album charts, unseating Abbey Road by The Beatles for the top spot. The cover imagery by art director Juniper was completely experimental – a ground-breaking, hand-crafted combination of collage/photography and airbrush illustration

John Kosh – As the designer of some of the most well-known album cover images in history, Kosh has always appreciated a challenge, and so when the Eagles’ manager and record label called looking for an image to properly illustrate the release of a 1976 record by a “new” Eagles band (Hotel California, by a band that needed no introduction), Kosh and team braved the California winds in a death-defying effort that produced an iconic cover image—t.html

Ben Kweller – Nominated for both a 2012 Grammy Award in the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” and an  Independent Music Award (IMA) in the “Album Packaging” category that same year, musician/songwriter Ben Kweller’s work on Go Fly A Kite (released on his own The Noise Company label) is an impressive example of a multi-talented musical performer involving himself in every creative aspect of his productions

Adnan Lotia – While not an album cover designer by trade, Adnan is a graphic artist and educator who embarked on a project in 2021 to create a portfolio of “LEGO-ized” images of well-known album covers. Read about what inspired him to create these whimsical works of art at

Pozzie Mazerati – While I was looking for examples of musicians’ own album art collections, I was also presented with examples of how some have used album cover art to help promote all aspects of their career. I was particularly impressed with the “Red Arrow” campaign put together in 2013 by Pozzie Mazerati, so I asked Pozzie for some additional information on herself and Red Arrow

John Pasche – One of the (if not THE) most-recognized band logos in the rock era, John Pasche’s “Tongue and Lips” design for the Rolling Stones was first introduced to fans in 1971. Imagine, then, being a design student, still in college, and then being called upon to create identity graphics for one of the biggest acts in the world. Here’s John Pasche’s account of his first big gig

Glen Wexler – For the cover for Heaven & Earth’s 2013 album Dig, done by designer/photographer Glen Wexler – it seems clear that the work he produced for his client came as the result of a concept whose time had finally come – simply being the perfect time for the application of ideas he’d developed over several years and preceding projects