Bliss – Loveprayer
Design by Stylorouge
Photography by The Douglas Brothers
This time round I want to write about a sleeve design that is one of my personal favourites, one that, as a teenager, was probably the most responsible for my deciding a career in graphic design, and especially in design for music, was the one for me.
Loveprayer was released at a time when most of the music I listened to had a sleeve designed by the same company – Stylorouge in London. All About Eve’s debut is another that springs to mind.
With it’s autumnal colouring, the sleeve for Loveprayer is so full of details that it is one that can be looked at again and again, noticing new things each time. It looks like it is a collection of memories and given that I seem to remember that singer, Rachel Morrison, had lost her mother shortly before the album’s release (the album’s final track, I Walk Alone, is about her), then that may be exactly what it is. Jewellery, flowers, feathers and torn paper are among the clutter and ephemera that beautifully frames Morrison’s portrait as well as a hankerchief, a framed photograph and wooden type blocks that subtly spell out the album title.
This is definitely a design that worked better in 12″ format rather than CD size.
The album design was completed by photography from The Douglas Brothers – another name synonymous with beautifully creative photography used in music, magazines and advertising the late 80’s and Early 90’s. Generally, like on Loveprayer, their shots were sepia or monotone and their portraits informal.
The typography in any Stylorouge design is always spot on and this example is no exception. Strong, hand drawn logos were also a hallmark of the company’s design work. I remember painting the Bliss logo onto a T-shirt and then later onto my art college portfolio and was disappointed when it was ditched for a simple, sans-serif font for their second album three years later.
Stylorouge are still going strong, still specialising in design for music. Over the years, they have worked with many of the leading names in music and are perhaps best known for their work with Blur (which has spanned the band’s entire career) and for their iconic poster designs for Trainspotting.
Shortly after their second album, Bliss disbanded and Rachel Morrison had some success as a solo artist in Germany before partnering her husband in Meeker. They reformed as Bliss and released a new album, Your World My World, in 2011.