vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

We all know the Grammys for giving awards to musicians but they also give special attention to the aesthetic of an album. Since its inception, the Grammy’s has a special section for the visual look of an album called the Grammy Award for Best Record Package which is awarded to the art director, not the artists unless they’re also the art director. Over the years, the best album package has become fancier and fancier. Just take a look at these Grammy nominees for best record package for 2019 and 2020. I mean…are they fancy or what?!

Here are our top ten favorites:

#1 VOLS 11 & 12 – THE DESERT SESSIONS (2019)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

The latest winner of Grammy Awards’ Best Recording Package is Desert Sessions’ compilation album entitled “Vols 11 & 12”. Although the album was released in 2019, it still won the award in 2021. And there’s no questioning there when such a cool visual art graced our eyes.

What makes it unique:

The very bold colors it used as well as the seemingly different and unrelated elements and characters on the jacket looks very unified, don’t you think?

#2 EVERYDAY LIFE – COLDPLAY (2019)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Datevinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

The 2019 album’s art director, Pilar Zeta was nominated in this year’s Grammy Awards for the Best Recording Package. Though it did not win the award, we cannot deny how beautiful the vinyl album is. Just so you know, there are three different types of custom vinyl records, first is the standard vinyl black, second is the grayish color, and last is the seemingly transparent record with gold glitters.

What makes it unique:

What makes this album so eye-catching is its limited edition that has the gold glittered vinyl record bringing life to the black and white filtered artwork of the vinyl jacket.

#3 ON CIRCLES – CASPIAN (2020)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

Another nominee for this year was Jordan Butcher, the art director of Caspian’s 5th studio album. It was released in the 24th of January 2020. Yes, it did not win the awards too but it’s concept is still unique right?

What makes it unique:

I’m sure the open door on the red wall paired with a contrasting green splatter on the transparent vinyl record was what made you stop to look and stare, that’s what it did for me too!

#4 PURE COMEDY – FATHER JOHN MISTY (2017)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

This time we have a vinyl album winner of the Best Recording Package. The album was released in 2017 and was then nominated a year after its release. There were many people involved in the art design and one of it was Josh Tillman himself or more professionally known as Father John Misty.

What makes it unique:

Two heads are indeed better than one, the artwork that matches the half transparent silver vinyl record even looks like its sparkling when it really isn’t.

#5 SLEEP WELL BEAST – THE NATIONAL (2017)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Datevinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

Here is a another album for the award in 2018, which was also released in 2017. Although it did not win this award, the album still won Best Alternative Music Album.

What makes it unique?

On the outside, the album looks so dark and dull but when you open the gatefold jacket that’s when you see the colors, orange, blue and white, which just mixes well together.

#6 SOLID STATE – JONATHAN COULTON (2017)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

Another 2017 album that was nominated for the Best Recording Package of the 2018 Grammy Awards. This time we have a record album with the standard black vinyl record.

What makes it unique? 

But what makes this so unique and beautiful is the overall concept that reflects our current generation of social media, internet, artificial intelligence, etc.

#7 BLACKSTAR – DAVID BOWIE (2016)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

We have another vinyl record album that won the Best Recording Package, and this time, it’s from the 2017 Grammys Award. The album is titled Blackstar from the oh-so-popular David Bowie. This was his final studio album before he died and before his death, he has already told this album’s art directors to keep their mouth shuts about the album’s hidden secrets.

What makes it unique?

As I have already said, the album has lots of secrets and two of the many secrets of the album have been discovered by fans after much experiment – when the vinyl jacket is exposed to sunlight, the star on the center becomes filled with small glowing stars and when the jacket is exposed to blacklight, the star glows blue.

#8 22, A MILLION – BON IVER (2016)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

Bon Iver’s third studio album, art directed by Eric Timothy Carlson, was nominated for the Grammy Awards last 2017. The album has a matte finished gatefold jacket and booklet that goes with it.

What makes it unique? 

What makes this album crazily unique is that its abstract artwork that highly contrasts the plain black vinyl record and the cream-colored pages of the booklet.

#9 LIGHTNING BOLT – PEARL JAM (2013)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

The 2013 album’s art directors won the Best Recording Package in the 2015 Grammy Awards. The album was by the rock band Pearl Jam entitled, “Lightning Bolt” Which heavily shown in the jacket, sleeve, and the vinyl record itself.

What makes it unique:

The vinyl record’s design is not what makes this vinyl record unique, it’s the clever idea of cutting a circle on the front side of the gatefold jacket and filling that cut with the inner record sleeve’s eye design.

#10 INDIE CINDY – PIXIES (2014)

vinyl record packaging, 10 of the Prettiest Grammy-nominated Vinyl Record Package to Date

American alternative rock band, Pixies, released their fifth full length album in 2014 and was nominated for the Best Recording Package award. Unfortunately, the art director could not claim the win. Nevertheless, we cannot deny that the album is a well thought off one and exudes much artistry.

What makes it unique:

What makes it stand out the most is its choice of colors which is different shades of orange a very rare color we from day to day life but is very attractive when used right.

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James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.

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