This is the age of digital. It is a format that is taking over so much of the modern world. Old audio and visual formats are quickly becoming a thing of the past and it’s hard to believe that our beloved vinyl and print could soon be assigned to the history books.
Digital certainly has it’s bonuses – it allows us to stretch the boundaries of what is possible, yet there is a certain something that digital just cannot replicate. Sure, with MP3s, we can listen to thousands upon thousands of songs on a device the size of a packet of gum and with digital design we can create imagery that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
With the Good Comes the Bad
But for all of the good things that come with digital, there certainly are some down points. You may call me ‘old-fashioned’, but compromising the organic feel of an old record or an original print for the sheer convenience that digital brings is something that I struggle with. And I know that I’m not alone on this.
I collect old records and I probably spend too much of my time sifting through old vinyl in some of my local record dealers. Of course, I look out for tracks that I know and love, but perhaps the most amazing thing that I find from these records is the sleeve artwork. I look upon these old records more as artefacts rather than just a medium in which to play my music. It was soon after my love affair with records began, that I started searching for graphic design jobs and my career really got going.
Digital Music Has No Need For Artwork
With digital music, there is often very little need for artwork. CDs are dying a death and if you do buy an album on MP3, the artwork will only be displayed on your computer screen or on the tiny screen of your MP3 player. You don’t get to touch, feel and even smell the artwork in the same way that you do with a record.
I could romanticise about my records for hours, but I won’t. Instead, I want to share with you a few of my favourite record sleeves from my collection. Some are old, some not so, but all of them have a special place in my heart.
Random Factor – Outlaw
Black Strobe – Chemical Sweet Girl
The Royal We – Party Guilt
Moodymann – Det.Riot ‘67
Your Lovely Eglantine – Later
Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink
F—kaponydelic – Switch the Lights