Featuring 35 iconic album covers from bands and musicians around the world, The Color of Iconic Albums by Dorothy takes us on a journey into the past. There are reinterpretations of Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band of the Beatles and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, among others.
Why a circle? “The graphic discs are inspired by the humble vinyl record, the ring of colors becoming the grooves”, explains Oli Rogers, designer at Dorothy.
How many iconic albums can you recognize from their color scheme without knowing which album is being celebrated? Nirvana’s Nevermind immediately comes into its own, with its blue hues suggesting water and perhaps ripples. The shocking pink and electric yellow depicting a Sex Pistols classic should also be pretty obvious. Does Oli have a favourite? New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies, apparently.
“When I was studying art at school, I wanted to be the next Peter Saville,” Oli recalls. “I remember borrowing my dad’s copy of Power, Corruption and Lies on vinyl and poring over the coding system on the right side of the album for hours. I’m pretty sure I’m done by ripping it off for an A-Level project I did.
“For the Power, Corruption and Lies record, I tried to use the reds, pinks and whites of the roses in Fantin-Latour’s painting, but in the end I felt the code colors were more synonymous with the album cover for me personally. This was the case with a few of the designs, using colors that evoked the essence of the album rather than including every color on the cover, for example, the American flag from Born in the USA and the water from Nevermind.”
Oli adds, “It took a while to distill or argue our long list down to just 35 iconic albums (Honourable Mentions to Paul Simon, Talk Talk, Animal Collective), but we think they’re a pretty strong band. playlist!”
The color of iconic albums is a four-colour lithograph print available to buy from Dorothy’s shop for £30. For anyone interested, Dorothy has also designed a special edition called The Color of British Albums for their friends at British Music Experience, which features album covers from uniquely British bands. The non-profit museum is based in Dorothy’s hometown of Liverpool, which celebrates the history of British rock and pop music from the 1950s to the present day.