In our 2012 Album Covers of the Year feature, we once again get our hands on everyone we can. Through interviews with designers, musicians, labels, and plenty of others, we take a close look at just how many hands are in the pot when it comes to the album artwork process.

Inside this feature are 98 album covers spanning a wide array of sonic and visual styles, each selected for its own unique contribution to the world. They are not ranked; instead, they are broken down into sections based on conceptual underpinnings or artistic mediums, and then are displayed on spectrums.

Get started by navigating into any of these six sections:
Geometric & Pattern-Based
Narrative & Symbolic
Photography & Manipulations
Painting & Illustration
Collage, Sculpture & Mixed Media

You can also see last year’s at 2011 Year-End Respect For Album Cover Art


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Vivian Hua (華婷婷) wears a lot of random hats, but has somewhat mastered globetrotting like a hobo and evading traditional 9-to-5 work schedules. She enjoys observing human idiosyncrasies perhaps more than anything and is a magnet for homeless people (a joy) and bug bites of all types (absolutely terrible). Through her work, she hopes to embrace the temporary while documenting the nostalgic, using divination and dream symbolism as guides through the cosmic maze. Additional writing, art, video, and other crap, like her astrological chart, can be seen at She is the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE magazine, and quite appreciates unsolicited personal e-mails just to shoot the shit and narrow the gaps between human beings.