CD Cover Design – Deconstruction skills


1. Overall Design

The cover art for A Rush of Blood to the Head was designed by photographer Solve Sundsbo. He was featured in one publication, where Chris Martin saw the image and approached Sundsbo for permission to use the image as the cover of A Rush of Blood to the Head. It was second album of Coldplay and was released on August 2002.

This cover has a very simple colour palette, it looks clean, minimalistic, but stays very interesting and eye-catching. It has technological feel in it, as Solve wanted to create something that hasn’t been done before, so he used three-dimensional scanning machine. By mistake half of the head was chopped, as machine only scanned 30 centimeters. This photograph looks very unconventional, modern and different. It is one of the reason, of why TA will be attracted to this cover. This photo is a perfect fit for the album name, as it looks like half of the head was blown because of the blood pressure. This photo makes potential TA to stop and think about the meaning of the photo. It will also interest target audience of Coldplay, as they are arty, creative people. They are interested in graphic design and they like to be different. This particular cover will attract these people because it is as different, as they are. Its unconventional design represent Coldplay’s nature, TA can undrstand that they are alternative and creative band and their music is very abstract and arty. It shows that Coldplay are not that interested in self-promotion, music is more important for them. It shows that they are not about looks, but about lyrics and emotions.


Снимок экрана 2013-10-11 в 16.32.25

The only writing we can see on the front of the CD package is band name and name of their album. Absence of promotional text makes this cover look expensive, minimalistic and mature. Also, it make people concentrate on the image. For the same reason the only text they have on the cover, is written with the very neat and simple font. Capital letters of the font suppose to put masculinity into the cover, but the chosen font makes it more relaxed and indie, suggesting the nature of the band. Group name is written with the black font, which highly contrasts with the background, it encourages TA to read the band name first. For the album name brown-gray colour was used, it doesn’t contrast that much with white colour and is quite mature colour. This colour suggests who is potential TA of this album, as it is only colour except black and white on this cover, but it still stays very calm and simple.

3. Band branding

This cover art represent Coldplay, as creative, artistic people, colours and image concept shows them, as calm and mature band. This cover suggests that they are modern, technological and inventive, as photo looks very different due to technology used for its creation. They don’t want to be iconized by people, as they are far more worried about songs, then their looks, it is why it is not a band photo on their album cover. Also, we can see that there are no any promotion on the CD package and just a little bit of text. It shows that Coldplay are targeting on mature people, truly interested in good music. Also, name of the album represent Coldplay, as abstract band. “A Rush of Blood to the Head” is quite unconventional name and chosen logo is a perfect fit. Moreover band, their record company and management see their music art form holistically. Coldplay’s artwork, stage shows and band’s ethos is a one thing, therefore visual representation of what the album and the content means to them has to be reflected through their artwork.

4. Graphics & Photography

For creating this image Solve Sundsbo used three-dimensional scanning machine. It created something, what never has been done before, therefore it was extremely different and arty. This machine was able to scan just 30 centimeters, it is why it chopped top part of the head. Also computer could not read the colours so it was replaced with spikes. This image fit perfectly the album name, and makes it even more intriguing by used colours, as they are very sophisticated. There is a link between album name ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ and graphical cover image, as this picture looks a little bit like a medical scan. Moreover, the fact that just a part of the head was scanned, shows that album name works with this image on different levels. This image has technological, modern feel in it, as it is very graphic and different.  These colours made photo looks very calm and simple, what is contradicting to the album name. This contradiction makes this cover even more interesting and exciting. For the album cover, Coldplay used original photo made by Solve for the fashion magazine Dazed & Confused in the late 1990s. The fact that they used this photo for their album cover, says that Coldplay don’t want to show themselves off, their band is about good music and lyrics. Also it shows that they want to stand out, as they want to differentiate their band by an artistic approach. Because of their stylized cover, TA will be interested in buying this album, as it makes them question what is it all about. It also attracts them, as it is different, minimalistic and alternative.

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