Apple Music recruits iconic artists to design its playlist covers

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Some of the new artwork you'll see.
Photo: Apple Music

Apple has quietly hired some of the most iconic album cover artists in the industry to give Apple Music its own artwork.

The undertaking is part of Apple’s effort to give playlists a uniform presentation that speaks to the music. Artists who previously worked on designs for bands like AC/DC, Migos, Boston, Ted Nugent and Blue Öyster Cult have already created hundreds of new playlist artworks, with many more on the way.

In an interview with The Verge, Rachel Newman, Apple’s global director of editorial, said the artwork is meant to “connect more directly with the communities and the culture for which they were intended. In many ways, it’s a visual representation of the music that you will find inside that playlist.”

Apple Music subscribers can see the artwork on popular playlists like Hip Hop Hits, Dale Reggaetón and The Riff. Gerard Huerta, who designed the iconic AC/DC logo and made the new artwork for Classic Metal and The Riff, talked about how he approached the project.

“The inspiration was really stepping back to a time when I created these old pieces. They come out of drawing, not typefaces or fonts,” Huerta said. “You look at what is unique to the letterforms presented and just begin moving the pencil around. As always in logo design, you want to create a lock-up that is unique in its form, and has a feel for the emotion you are trying to get across. I will have to say I referenced my old work.”

Stole “Moab” Stojmenov, the designer behind Migos’ album Culture, offered similar remarks. He redesigned the Hip Hop Hits playlist artwork.

“Giving a shape and an image to music is never an easy process,” he told The Verge. “My style and my creative process have been always characterized by a significant presence of symbology and very powerful images, in addition to a very minimal and simple design. I think this project was somehow a bit different, but it also gave me the chance to create a real manifesto of my style.”