There’s plenty of good material in the archives over at Creative Review, but one of the best posts from this month is their Record Sleeves of the Month article.

Album artwork should be a great source of inspiration to any designer – the range of styles is huge. Whether it’s a vintage design, a painting, photograph or minimalist, there’s plenty to get excited about when it comes to the humble record sleeve.

And I’m pretty sure it isn’t just me that finds modern sleeves more exciting than ever.

Thanks to the internet, we can get our music instantly, and the physical product just can’t keep up with that kind of timescale.

However, there are many reasons why CDs aren’t extinct quite yet. These include this strange part of human nature that we have where value is found more in what can be touched. And secondly, while something still makes more money than it costs, it’ll exist.

But you’ve got to spend money to make money, right? Which is why record sleeves are becoming more exciting.

The creative industry is changing, unlike the factory line; people are encouraged to get involved with the whole process. The painter no longer stops when the brush is put down, the photographer doesn’t stop with the development of the negatives, and the graphic designer doesn’t stop with CTRL+S.

If you take a look at the Creative Review post, you’ll see some pretty standard design influences, from a classic two-tone look in the Apparat record to the minimalist design of the Plaid album.

The difference is, the Apparat product is a book, and the Plaid record is well… I’m not quite sure, but it comes in a big old digipack because of the inclusion of two rings that go together to create an intriguing CD holding sculpture.

These are great examples of how graphic artists are being involved in more stages of the design process.

Gimmicks like this would have originally have been just that – pure marketing. Now it’s part of the creative process.

It’s a strange feeling when one creative process flourishes thanks to another’s fall.