Good design on album artwork goes hand in hand with IDM / electronica.
To have a good cover design, you either went minimalist like Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 or complex like Venetian Snares' Cavalcade Of Glee And Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms.
The Designers Republic design a lot of electronica bands' covers, while Underworld had their own Tomato imprint. Neither of these companies produced anything as brilliant as porn screen-shots with superimposed kitten heads.
The mp3 is killing off the LP, and these days, album illustrators can be seen begging for pennies on street corners. Their cardboard signs say things like SPARE SUM PENNIES in Comic Sans, bringing shame on their once great profession.
No-one knows it yet, but the future of cover design is EtchaSketch.
Top five album covers:
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