Jay Z, Rihanna and Kanye West collaborator Willo Perron & Associates has created the album cover for Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds To Mars’ latest release America, with art director Brian Roettinger heading up the design. The stripped-back, type-based artwork comes in multiple iterations, each displaying different lists of American names, brands, items and concepts drawn from surveys and stats. For example, one reads: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Walmart, IBM: the five most valuable trademarks as reported by Forbes; another reads: “Kylie, Elvis, Kanye, Jesus, LeBron, Oprah: six American names.” The band has also released a custom album cover generator, allowing fans to create their own custom lists in the format of the America artwork.
Brian Roettinger’s recent artwork for Jay Z’s 4:44 cover followed a similarly simple, text-based aesthetic. The studio explained of its “minimal and restrained vision” for the artist’s “most transparent album yet” that it “forces the consumer to focus solely on the message without distraction”.
This appears to have been Willo’s intention with America’s cover, though with a more political agenda. “For me the lists are almost like a time capsule,” Jared Leto said in a statement. “Independently they may surprise, entertain or provoke, but as a group they give us a sense of the culture we are a part of and the times we are living in.”
The artwork will be unveiled on billboards in major cities across the world including New York’s Times Square. The album’s first single release, One Track Mind featuring A$AP Rocky, will be released 23 March.