About

The project :
Why the Hell would you start a blog about sleeve design ? Well, first, we love it, and since a long time. And we love tot talk about it! Second, we felt that there is an uprise in the quality of the work in the last few months - and an impressive one. 
But on the other hand, there is no real good source about it : no annual book, no award really devoted to it. Most book tries to find a catchy angle (like "outrageous designs from blackploitation", or "weird japanese geek stuff with naked robot-grannies", etc.)
There are indeed some websites or blogs on the matter, but, as far as we know it, they are too serious, and sometime a bit boring. And they usually focus too much on one specific style, or on a genre... So, as we didn't find anything satisfying, we said to ourselves... well, let's do it! Light, easy, collaborative, etc. 

And the web is a far better way to do it than any other : a 2011 book featuring all good designs would be impossible to curate, even for a bunch of cover lovers! Remember the "Album Cover Art" books in the 80'? Nowadays, it would take 1000 pages at least, just to give a fair overview of the interesting works! No way...
On the other hand, a website (a blog to be precise) can give the best of both world : all the interesting works on the web (searchable via keywords), so people can enjoy it the way they like, and on the other hand, a yearly book, offering a essential selection made by cover & music enthusiasts : the visitors of the website, via a simple voting system.
So the objectives  of Cover Culture are :
  1. show all the interesting works we can spot (uploading the best quality images files I can find or scan)
  2. share histories and point of view, in a cool and relaxed way. No theoretical smokey theories, just, stories, facts, design hints and points of view, out of passion.
  3. allow people to vote  for the works, in order to create, hopefully, an award and an affordable book compiling the best ones at the end of each year. 

The people :
Guillaume-Ulrich Chifflot, Chief Editor, created Cover Culture out of a passion for both music & graphic design. He's French, born in 1967, and is an awarded creative director in advertising, having worked at TBWA Paris, BBDO, Y&R and BDDP & Fils, and more recently as Vice-president for Leo Burnett France. Some of his advertising works can be browsed here.
Beyond his day-time job, Guillaume has a history of activism in the area of electronic music and graphism : in 1990, he founded N9 Multimedia Lab, a label to release his music and typographic works. 
Beyond a bunch of techno-house12 inches, under different aliases (Number Nine, Orbit 48, Ultrawerk : discography can be found at discogs.com), the label also released several free or commercial typefaces.
It also was the homebase for the Point Central website in 1996, one of the first websites devoted to Typography, that later became Typeindex.org (http://www.point-central.fr).
In 2005, the label came back in the music area with a serie of New Beat and Acid releases (mainly as French Theory) as much as the remastering of the tracks of the 90'.

Considering all of this, sleeve design has always been central in his areas of interest:
"I'm a cover-lover. I bought so many of my favourite records just because the sleeve were fantastic! And being exposed early to the work of Neville Brody (because of Cabaret voltaire), Peter Saville ( because of OMD, Joy division, Ultravox, New Order, etc.) or the whole body of work of Vaughan Oliver (4AD) really triggered my interest for Art Direction as much as my love for music (electronic in a broad sense).  
In fact, my interest for music made me aware of the importance of design and art direction, and in return, graphic design pushed me into discovering new musical territories. Warp? I tried because of Richard H. Kirk, GTO, but also because of the Designer's Republic. R&S? those sleeves were so striking!  I just bought back some PSB, just because of the sleeves of Mark Farrow, to enjoy holding the pictures in my hands!  
Now that I'm in Advertising, I still cherish this, and it still inspires me to push the visual enveloppe in my field, and inspire art directors. So CoverCulture is about this : enjoying, celebrating and sharing the inspiring works in the field of sleeve design."
In fact, advertising shares many similarities with sleeve design : it's a business, but it uses visual arts like graphic design, typography, illustration or photography. And on a conceptual point of view, a sleeve has to say something about the artists and their product (the music pieces), just like great advertising has to heralds the brand's true vision and thinking behind its products. 
And both have to sell! Seduction and commerce, all in the same space of people's mind. 
So, decoding sleeve designs with some experienced advertising eyes may brings a refreshing point of view to the field.
So we enjoy sharing our discoveries and the many marvels that sleeve design provides. And we hope you will too!