The album cover for “Pod” by The Breeders, designed by Vaughn Oliver in 1990. The album had a far-reaching influence in the rock and grunge scene, going as far as being listed as one of Kurt Cobain’s top three albums. Similarly, the record sleeve cover was iconic and recognizable. This design features an image of Oliver himself doing a fertility dance in a belt of eels wrapped around him, taken by photographer Kevin Westenburg. The image is distorted and saturated, making his body appear more like a colorful blur. In the image, Oliver captures an abstract and surreal sense of movement that is representative of the effect of the album’s music on the body.

Like much of his other work, Vaughn Oliver took a lot of care to design with the music and the album in mind. The album is sensual and dark. The movement of Oliver’s frenzied dance with eels captured the surrealism, strangeness, and out-of-body aspects of The Breeder’s music. 

Through his commitment to honoring the music he designs for, Oliver makes designs that do justice to the band’s identity. His album cover design for Pod is a prime example of how design is used not only to communicate and indicate, but to create an atmosphere and experience around a subject, especially music.


“Vaughn Oliver- Visceral Pleasures” by Rick Poyner