London-based vinyl enthusiasts Art Vinyl have unveiled their shortlist for the best album artwork of 2016. Now in its 12th edition, the list was drawn up by a panel of music industry insiders plus previous winners of the award. The winner of this year’s competition will be voted for online by the public and announced on 5th January 2017 at London’s The Hari Hotel.
The 50-strong shortlist includes some of 2016’s most critically acclaimed albums as well as some surprises exclusions. While the inclusion of Jonathon Barnbrook’s design for David Bowie’s Blackstar and Quentin Blake’s work for James Blake’s (no relation) The Colour in Anything will not be a surprise, notable exclusions include Bon Iver’s excellent 22, A Million and Kanye West’s now-infamous cover for The Life of Pablo.
Other shortlisted artists include Sammy Slabbinck for his work on Leonard Cohen’s final album You Want it Darker, Yousef for his work on Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate, and Samuel Gull for the cover of The Wytches’ All Your Happy Life. Three of the fifty pieces of artwork—for Parquet Courts’ Human Performance, Rihanna’s Anti, and Bowie’s Blackstar—were also last week nominated in the category of Best Recording Package for this year’s Grammy Awards.
Former winners of the award include graphic design studio The Creative Corporation for its work on David Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock last year, The Cribs’ Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs in 2007, and Hard-Fi’s Stars of CCTV in the competition’s inaugural year, 2005. This year’s winners will be exhibited at The Hari Hotel after they have been announced on 5th January 2017.
To see the full list of nominees, please visit the Vinyl Art website.