The Next Day packaging design

by Jonathan Barnbrook / Barnbrook Blog (

7th March 2013

Since this will be shortly released to the world we thought we would give you a first look of the cd cover of new David Bowie album The Next Day. We explained the concept for the front cover here. The reaction to it has been phenomenal. Rarely do people talk about the cover design other than ‘its nice’ and we have seen many opinions (both positive and negative) about what people think about it. We are simply very happy that people understand the importance of graphic design and care enough to comment on it. (We do, by the way, still absolutely stand by doing it). We are also really happy that the white square has become a simple meme to symbolise the album.


The packaging is an extension of that idea. The back features the back of “Heroes” with as simple undesigned track listing. The inside is even more minimal. The idea was to create difference by the absence of graphics and text. Why? In a world were we are assaulted by signs and messages urgently competing for our attention, the only way to look different is to take all that away and have a minimal calm space. In 2013, this is not easy, record companies want logos, shops want product identifiers, publishers want copyright info, but we did it (almost) – no typography except for one black on black copyright notice. The white square repeats obscuring David Bowie’s face, which is balanced by a black on black square opposite. The portrait of Bowie is finally revealed underneath when you get to the CD.


In contrast with the monochrome feeling of the packaging, included is a brightly-coloured almost psychedelic fold-out poster inside. The cover is repeated and the lyrics are treated in an almost mechanical way, with no differentiation between title, verse or even song. Instead the lyrics are shown as a very long list, reflecting the notion that we all endlessly move onto The Next Day.



Filed under Press

2 responses to “The Next Day packaging design

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