Art Vinyl has just announced the winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2021 Award, as voted for by the public. This year, the best record cover design was picked up by Paul Phillips at True Spilt Milk Designs for his work on Villagers’ fifth studio album cover for Fever Dreams. In a design first for the award, an interchangeable design, offering three sleeves with interlinking artwork, was awarded the win.
As an artwork that seems to reflect the general tone of 2021, the 17th winning entry, depicting a giant sleeping bear, plays with scale to explore anxiety and “being overwhelmed”, explains Paul Philips; Matthew Cooper and Paul J Street designed the cover. Duran Duran’s cover for Future Past came in at second place, featuring blended images by Japanese photographer Daisuke Yokota. In third place was photographer Jason Joyce, who shot the Singing Ringing Tree sculpture in Burnley for Thunder’s album, All The Right Noises, with design by Neel Panchal.
The three winners were chosen from a shortlist of 50 “diverse and striking” works from across the year; the shortlist was composed by a panel of artists, designers and music industry experts. The nominations included Bráulio Amado’s visceral and squishy design for Amyl and the Sniffers, Comfort to Me, Wolfgang Stiller’s matchstick artwork for Here Lies Man, Ritual Divination and David LaChapelle's futuristic photography for Planet Her by Doja Cat. A full list of nominees and winners of the Best Art Vinyl Award can be viewed online at the Art Vinyl site.
Best Art Vinyl founder Andrew Heeps states: “This year’s winning sleeve art is built around a self-contained frame border, that allows the owner to swap and enjoy all four versions of the sleeve with each artwork produced in the same style and ongoing theme. The originality of offering the LP owner both quality and quantity of art in one tidy package, just demonstrates how the humble vinyl record holds few barriers.”
Paul Phillips, Matthew Cooper and Paul J Street: Fever Dreams by Villagers (Copyright © Villagers and Domino Records, 2021)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.