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Q. What if albums were books?
With the record-buying public once again in love with vinyl (see every story on every blog in the world plus a fair few in the mainstream press), it's no surprise that the humble record sleeve is also hitting the spotlight.
However rather than just the now-standard mention of the late night herbal friendliness of a passing Yes gatefold, it's the world of book jacket design that is fueling this week's reminiscing about the album sleeve.
Hardcore Flickr user and graphic designer, LittlePixel, has been inspired by the classic Pelican range of covers to completely transform a selection of his favourite album sleeves and answer the question - 'what if these albums were books?'
When the artwork is 'reimaginitized' (his word) using Pelican's distinctive modernist style, the results are simply stunning.
The 32-strong set includes classic covers from Joy Division, Primal Scream and Kraftwerk, as well as lesser known (but equally jaw-dropping) works from the likes of Autechre, Spacemen 3 and Belle & Sebastian. So far, so cult but even LittlePixel couldn't resist RickRolling us with the below PWL romance novella…
It's not just the mainstream that gets Pelicanised - it's the cult as well.
All sleeves have been madeover to give the impression they have spent decades in-and-out of book shops and libraries, whilst being thumbed heavily by loving readers.
The covers that have so inspired LittlePixel are the classic Pelican series from book publishers Penguin, designed by Polish typographic genius Romek Marber.
Initially commissioned to illustrate Penguin's crime novels, Marber's distinctive 'grid' style ended up influencing the entire Penguin output and specifically the Pelican line. Marber's designs ran through the 60's and 70's and are now highly regarded as a standard in graphic design.
Marber's crisp, minimalist grid structure placed the emphasis totally on the cover art and was thus ideal for LittlePixel's 'reimaginatisizing' of the modern album sleeve as book cover. Either that or they just look cool
At the moment, we can only speculate as to what stories these 'books' may contain. From our sample images, we assume Tigermilk was quite popular with the more mature gentleman.
Trying to second guess the contents of a novel called Unknown Pleasures as written by a glum-looking author from the Joy Division school is a can of worms MusicRadar would rather stay unopened.
However we would suggest giving Man Machine - The Novella a miss. Apparently, it gets a bit repetitive…
Click though to LittlePixel's Flickr page to see the rest of the set, now in hi-res.