Great Album Covers #9: Post

July 24, 2012. No comments.

Björk - Post

Björk – Post

One Little Indian, 1995
Design by Paul White at Me Company
Photography by Stéphane Sednaoui

It’s not often that an album cover featuring the artist’s portrait falls under the category of great design but Björk’s certainly do and especially her second album Post from 1995. The expression on her face seems to show fear or sadness and when you learn that the theme behind much of the album, and the basis behind the album’s design, was her longing to be back in Iceland with her family, then you realise that probably is the case. The airmail edging on the jacket isn’t just there for fun but also indicate that the singer wanted to post herself home.

Being in London and further during the recording of the album, Björk would write letters everyday to her family and this was discussed with Paul White of Me Company when the time came to come up with concepts for the design of Post’s sleeve. The original design was to reflect this by having her photographed surrounded by photographs and personal belongings that reminded her of home. As discussions went on, the idea of using momentoes was shelved and instead it was decided that the pictures would be built into a giant House of Cards, static while Björk herself would be photographed in motion in front if it.

The singer chose fashion photographer Stéphane Sednaoui to take the pictures for the album cover and the shoot was set up in a street in the City of London. As the shoot began, and the cards began to move in the breeze, all involved realised that the photograph would be more successful if Björk was static and the cards in motion instead. Ans that’s the way it stayed with a wind machine was brought in to add more motion including to the singer’s hair.

The final shot was manipulated in Photoshop; the colours enhanced and more blur added. The imagery behind the singer is a strange collection of abstract colours and shapes. It’s always reminded me of a busy, neon-lit Japanese street and the oriental characters, perhaps a photograph of Chinese lanterns, only add to this. On the left hand side is a close up of a babies face – difficult to see at first glance.

The back cover of the album features the logo, along with the title and song tracks on an orange background surrounded by pink flowers – all echoing the front.

Björk - Post back cover

So what is it about this sleeve that makes it “great”? To me, it’s a combination of a number of things. Björk has such an interesting, photogenic face that would, in fact, make any sleeve fantastic (her first album, Debut, was very nearly chosen over Post to feature in this blog) but against the pink circle, haloing her head, along with the white Air Mail jacket she wears, exaggerated this beauty further. The colours, and the not quite knowing what is going on in the background also add to the sleeves appeal.

Bjo?rk - Debut

Paul White was one of the founding members of One Little Indian, the record label that, Björk’s first band, The Sugarcubes called home and it was at this time that the pair first met. Working on the band’s sleeves, the two developed a “special relationship” and that saw the singer put her faith in any ideas the designer came up with. White formed Me Company in 1986 and, after initially working solely in the music industry, went on to design with the likes of Nike, Coke, Mercedes, Apple and Fuji.

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