Sam Tomson on designing retro-futurist artworks and abstract worlds for music
“There is a natural affinity between music and design and illustration, in the sense that they both offer this high degree of self-expression,” says the Manchester-based designer and illustrator.
- Daniel Milroy Maher
- 25 May 2023
Sam Tomson has made a name for himself through his moody, bold and expressive artworks. Collaborating primarily on music-themed projects, his visual style is characterised by juxtapositions between retro and futuristic elements that capture the energy of the music they represent.
Recent highlights from his portfolio include a full LP design for System Olympia’s latest album New Erotic Collection, which depicts an aptly sensual scene using an airbrushed aesthetic for a warm and luxurious appearance; and another LP design for Kristian North’s new space opera album Pseudoscience Fiction, which leans on his trademark ‘vintage sci-fi’ look to tie in with themes of “virtual reality and life lived vicariously through technology”. In both projects, Sam displays a natural aptitude for world building: “I try to furnish each LP with a distinct imagined space, drawing on fantasy and science fiction tropes to hopefully create a cohesive universe in which the music exists.”
Sam Tomson: System Olympia (Copyright © Sam Tomson, 2023)
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.