This week Mirror80 celebrates that magical mixture of art and graphic design that seamlessly blended to create the 1980s album cover. We’ll reflect on album cover trends from our favorite decade, spotlight the resemblance between the cover art selections of various ’80s musicians, and show you how to use ’80s fashion to recreate the look of famous covers.
We start today with the album cover art of A Flock of Seagulls, the New Wave band that hooked ’80s audiences with their space-age sound and technology-themed visuals. In fact, a scientific aesthetic permeated ’80s pop culture, from the film Real Genius to the music and videos of Thomas Dolby. At times referencing past sci-fi themes, as in the video for It’s Not Me (Talking), and often imagining a stylish future (several music videos appeared to be set aboard a spaceship), A Flock of Seagulls consistently produced a synth-heavy sound, as well as an inexhaustible number of science fiction-influenced album covers.
Here are our favorites…
Bright red and yellow. Green and turquoise. This classic sci-fi palette is also vibrantly futuristic:
Here’s another amazing example of “’50s meets ’80s” design, a common motif in the decade of decadence:
The checkerboard floor and orange work lamp are two ’80s interior design staples, while the cloud-themed wallpaper lends a bit of the unexpected to this greatest hits album cover:
At times album covers from A Flock of Seagulls evoked the romantic, featuring roses, a tulip or a crystal locket. In fact, songs like “Space Age Love Song” and “Modern Love Is Automatic” sum up the group’s attention to both longing love and futuristic themes. But as with the music videos of A Flock of Seagulls, more often than not science and technology were at the forefront of the visuals. Would you expect anything less from a band with track titles like “Telecommunication,” “D.N.A” and “Electrics”?