“A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships” Vinyl

As vinyls make a comeback in popularity, it seems as though artists are taking every chance the have to set theirs apart from others. It is because of this that we now have so many interesting designs from cover, to the inside, to the vinyl itself. For the band The 1975, aesthetic is essentially part of their brand. Which is why it is not surprising their vinyl for their album, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”, is one of my favorites I own. The first thing that catches your eye about this record is the cover text orientation, at first you question whether you are holding the record wrong, but then you realize that is is all part of the design.

The inside of the album itself is beautifully done, with geometric shapes using colors that all seem to be in the right place, reminding me of a Piet Mondrian piece. The text itself is also placed very nicely with well-done alignments moving your eye in an “L” formation.

However, my favorite part of the design is the record itself, the bright yellow disk spinning on my record player reminds me of the Sun, and the sleeve is a a nice contrasting black that uses text to create an optical illusion.

Discussion — 3 Responses

  • David Fine 04/24/2021 on 7:01 PM

    I have also gotten some records recently, and I think it is really interesting how artists use the extra real estate (the back of the sleeve, the inside, various extra leaflets, and the record itself).

    Some artists choose to do nothing with this space. For example, XXX by Danny Brown has solid red across both pages of the inside of the pamphlet. This complements the minimalist design on the front and back of the sleeve.

    Another example is Salad Days by Mac Demarco. The front and back of the sleeve are both pretty straightforward. But the inside of the sleeve is like an image out of Where’s Waldo. The inside of Demarco’s bedroom studio looks like a scene from the inside of an Eye Spy book, and upon closer inspection you can see Demarco’s reflection in the mirror.

    Another example I have is the inner sleeve and record itself for Lucki’s Almost There. Each is riddled with the motifs that appear on both the outer sleeve and in Lucki’s music, specifically angels/demons, and cars. Each also features the collage style featured in many of Lucki’s videos that have been directed by LONEWOLF.

  • Si Wu 04/30/2021 on 4:56 AM

    Hi Taylor! Thanks for sharing. I admire the optical illusion it has created and agree with you that the inside of it also looks great. The use of colors and geometric shapes formes great contrast. The contrast between the record and the sleeve is fascinating and the most eye-catching part. I also like how the elements at the center of the record match with the inside of the sleeve. Personally, I like this design because all elements seem to be in the right place as you’ve said, and I especially like the blank that left on one side of the cover.

  • Ellie Bland 04/30/2021 on 9:50 PM

    As a record collector myself, I can always appreciate unique record designs. I believe that the rise in the popularity of records is the growing appreciation of physical art as much art these days are purely digital. Unique colored vinyl or variant covers are a great way artists pull fans into their music. The illusion of the front cover is interesting as it does make the viewer question if they are holding it wrong; however, I see a problem with a design like that. Records are not a cheap hobby and a cover design like that could lead to the record slipping out of the cover if it’s held incorrectly. But I feel like the design of the cover is almost worth the risk. The juxtaposition of the black and white cover with its multicolored interior is a great choice as well. The inclusion of the same block pattern of the inside on the record’s sticker was an excellent touch too. If they had not tied the vinyl and centerfold in that way, the design would be much less successful. Because at a glance the yellow record alone would be too different from the front cover without the insides design. The “L” in the center design was a great observation. It felt so natural that I didn’t understand what you were describing at first. The use of the yellow guides the eye across the page very well. But i do feel like the back of the record is uninspired. Perhaps if they had duplicated but inverted the colors of the cover to make it even harder to tell what was the real front.

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