Tag Archives: Best of 2012

Info on the 2012 Grammy Award nominees in the packaging categories

A little bit about the 2012 Grammy Award nominees in the packaging categories…updated with info on the Winners!

This year’s nominees in the packaging category included a wide range of talents – a few past nominees and winners, a number of U.S. and international design firms, some designers working directly for the musical acts represented and, as we’ve seen from past examples including folks like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, the handiwork of the musicians themselves, showing us that there’s more to their creative talents than just great songwriting skills.

You can view the offical list of the winning works from previous Grammy Awards events on the Grammy website (http://www.grammy.com/nominees/search?artist=&title=&year=All&genre=22), but here’s a bit of background on each of this year’s winners and nominees – an impressive group of creative individuals, for sure!

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Best Art Vinyl 2012 Award Winners Announcement


Best Art Vinyl, 2012, winner,

Best Art Vinyl 2012 Winning Designs






January 10, 2013: The Temper Trap’s self-titled LP, Keane’s Strangeland  and The 2nd Law by Muse won the top three spots in this year’s “Best Art Vinyl 2012″ awards polling.  Gallerist/manufacturer Art Vinyl, together with Front Room at St Martin’s Lane, London (where an ongoing exhibition of the winning designs, along with those by the other nominees, continues through January 27th), made this announcement today after tallying more than 12,000 votes from fans of art, photography and graphic design relating to modern music culture.

The 2012 winners display a diverse mix of art and design, beginning with The Temper Trap’s strikingly beautiful photographic cover, designed by Alberto Seveso and the London-based Boat Studio. Strangeland also features a quietly beautiful photograph by Alex Lake, whilst the stunning design of The 2nd Law depicts a captivating full colour image of the connections in a human brain, courtesy of the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at UCLA. According to Best Art Vinyl founder Andrew Heeps, “For eight years now, Art Vinyl have championed the diverse, the vibrant and the different creative styles that still exist in record cover art and design. This year we feel we have really achieved our aim and brought the public’s attention to some amazing sleeve designs, and, notably, some creative photography with this year’s winner.”

Now in its 8th year, this unique award is now an important date in the music industry calendar and compiles the global opinion on art and design for each year.  In January 2013, the winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2012 award will be featured in exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia as well as on www.artvinyl.com. All of the designs will be displayed in the unique Art Vinyl Play & Display Flip Frame which allow instant access to the music and inner sleeve designs.

Best Art Vinyl 2012 Top 10 Vote-getters:

1. The Temper Trap – The Temper Trap
2. Keane – Strangeland
3. Muse – The 2nd Law
4. Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
5. White Lung – Sorry
6. Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood of Colour
7. Saint Etienne – Words and Music
8. Richard Hawley – Standing at the Sky’s Edge
9. Jack White – Blunderbuss
10. The Hives – Lex Hives

Information on Top 3 Winners:

1st Place
Artist: The Temper Trap
Title: The Temper Trap
Record Label: Infectious Music
Designer: Photography and Artwork by Alberto Seveso, Design and Art Direction by Boat Studios

2nd Place
Artist: Keane
Title: Strangeland
Record Label: Island
Designer: Photography by Alex Lake. Design and Art Direction by Tourist

3rd Place
Artist: Muse
Title: The 2nd Law
Record Label: Helium 3 (Warner Bros)
Designer: Neuro Images supplied courtesy of the Human Connectome Project, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA. Band Photography by Travis Shinn

This year’s winners provide some insight regarding their award-winning designs:

– Comments from 1st Place-winning designer Davey Spens at Boat Studio regarding The Temper Trap:

“Boat Studio worked with The Temper Trap to create an identity for their self-titled second album. We wanted to give the platinum-selling Australian band something more than a smart album cover – a visual identity that could run throughout the album campaign, visuals you could remove their logo from and it would still be unmistakably theirs.

Boat Studio collaborated with Italian artist Alberto Seveso to create the identity. Working with acrylic ink in water, he photographed a suite of images in a bold primary palette to run across single and album artwork. The campaign was created in two locations, from Alberto’s studio in Sicily and ours in London, where we created moving visuals.

The launch campaign surrounding the album had a heavy digital focus, so as important as creating static visuals; we wanted to bring the artwork to life in film. Shooting the ink unfolding in water in high definition we created a series of moving images that were eventually employed in the iTunes LP as the first ever moving lyrics booklet, and also formed a simple, hypnotic video for a leaked taster song from the album – Rabbit Hole, which clocked up over 800k hits on YouTube. Boat Studio creative-directed the album launch, and handled the promo, single and album packaging formats for the band, from 7-inch picture disks and Deluxe Casebound Albums to the gorgeous triple gatefold, double coloured vinyl LP.”

– Comments from Arthur W. Toga at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, UCLA School of Medicine, regarding the imagery used on the cover of 3rd-Place winner The 2nd Law by Muse:

“The image is a rendering that depicts the connections in a human brain, the wiring diagram, if you will.  These images are made from data collected on a MRI machine and are part of a large project to map the connections in humans. I can only say that the distance between art and science is often very small indeed and that the beauty and wonder of the human brain and its inner workings inspires all of us that work to discover it.”

A quote from Andy Linehan, Curator of Popular Music at the British Library:

“I receive almost daily deliveries from record companies for our collection and recent years have seen a marked increase in the number of releases on vinyl by both major and independent record labels. In addition to the quality of sound, one of the major attractions of the vinyl LP is the sleeve art and it is great to see this being recognised and celebrated in this way.”

Best Art Vinyl 2012 Gallery Exhibition Information:


Front Room at St Martin’s Lane
45 St Martin’s Lane
Tel: +44 (0)114 236 4355
Exhibition dates: 8th November 8, 2012 – January 27, 2013

For information on St Martin’s Lane contact:
Kate Bell – kate.bell@purplepr.com + 44 (0) 207 434 7002
Eden Yates – eden@purplepr.com +44 (0) 207 434 7067


Mag Nation
155 King St
Newtown, Sydney
NSW 2042
Tel: 02 9516 0202

Exhibition dates: November 22nd 2012 – January 31st 2013

Via Santa Margherita, 10
40123 Bologna, Italy
Tel: 0039 051 6569105

Exhibition dates: December 6, 2012 – January 28, 2013

Marten Art Vinyl Gallery
Chalmersgatan 24
411 35 Gothenburg, Sweden

Exhibition dates: November 18, 2012 – January 15, 2013
Tel: 0046 3120 7200

For more information on the Best Art Vinyl competition, please visit:

Best and Worst Album Covers – 2012 – An Overview

Best/Worst Album Cover Lists – 2012

Each year, music and art critics work to provide readers and viewers with their “Top 10” lists in a variety of categories (by musical genre, by who most-effected pop culture, by who raised the bar, by who revealed the most of their inner souls or their outer skin, etc.). Many of these same publications and sites also attempt to arrive at – by their design standards and/or knowledge of the relationships between musicians, their record labels/distributors and the people they hire to create a new graphical representation of their latest music releases – which records came with the best (or worst) associated album covers.

Some lists were the opinions of a publication’s reporter or staff, while others reflect the votes of readers of those publications, but whether they approach these surveys from the angle of music fan, the art fan or simply from folks that appreciate the importance of good album art (to the promotion and sale of music and/or a musical act’s image), these lists do provide some interesting insights into the “art of criticism”, as do the comments submitted by those who agree or disagree with the final poll results.

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