Bowie: Designing the cover for a music icon

Bowie: Designing the cover for a music icon



Designing the cover album for David Bowie’s first studio album for seven years was a momentous project for designer Jonathan Barnbrook.

Barnbrook had designed covers for musicians in the past, but “only ever with people who he enjoyed their music,” although never one with Bowie’s credentials. The album cover for The Next Day would always stand out, go down in design history, if Barnbrook got it right.

“People expected to see an image of a popstar but he had been been out of the public eye for 10 years,” Barnbrook tells us. “With David Bowie, it had to reflect the album. It is not backward looking. He wants to surprise.”

Jonathan Barnbrook of Barnbrook Studio will talk about the incredible project with Bowie at Designival in Liverpool next week.

He’ll also argue the case for the typeface:

“It’s the visual language. The spirit of the age.”

“There are not enough typefaces – it’s a valid cultural form.”

He will present alongside Harry Pearce from Pentagram, Morag Myerscough, Jonathan Sands from Elmwood and Tom Evans.