The new album of Coldplay is coming in october (but right now in pre-order), and it is quite a good example of what the mainstream industry feels about sleeve design.
|The official cover|
The cover of the 180g vinyl album has a die-cut that reveals a part of the inner sleeve, with its graffiti image. Half of the CD will feature the same die cut, while the other half will only feature the official cover (graffity+type).
Among the various versions available (including digital), the most exclusive (only available through Coldplay's website) is a huge "pop-up" package, to be physically delivered in December. It includes the vinyl with die-cut (still pressed on 180g vinyl), a selection of stencils (some with the typography) and stickers, the CD version, a 36"x12" poster of the band's graffiti wall, and a 12"x12" hardback book featuring graffiti pop-up arts designed by David A. Carter. The package is sold about £50.
|The limited edition package|
|The visual used to annonce the track list|
The question that this sleeve design brings to mind, is that in the race for ultra-special editions, meant to revive the flame in the mp3 generation, leads the industry into spending lots of money, for a very small emotional income!
As seen with the hype around the recent cover of Kayne West & Jay Z, the question of the meaning is left far behind the need to make the headline. What does this package says about Coldplay's new album? Is the artwork original and meaningful ? Not a lot, to say the least...
At least, the typography gives a specific feeling, as it is quite a "bold" statement in term of design. But it too is far from original. Just have a look at Plaid's sleeve for its previous album, "Spokes", that was offering the same balance of utral-fat type with multicoloured post-graffiti image. But they clearly did it in a more advanced and post-modern style...