Date: Friday, October 14, 2011
Critique: This album cover, “Chromo,” by Joao Ruas for Labirinto/Dissenso Records, effectively uses elements of design to command attention next to many other album covers. There is multiple texture contrasts in this composition. Texture is created in the background through the visible brushstrokes, mimicking a plaster wall. While the figure on it is smooth— a contrast that helps the figure stand out against the background— texture is implied through the use of browns, soft outlines, and folds, creating a powdery affect mimicking bruised skin. The word Chromo seems as if it is made out of a separate sheet of paper, effectively allowing it to stand out from the composition as a whole in order to gain attention, but placed so that it works with the rest of the composition as well. The hand and flame like energy are painted in flatter, cleaner strokes, allowing it to stand out against the softer, more three diminutional figure. However, the hand does have some value, which connects the hand to the figure overall and doesn’t give it a disembodied effect. The eye first will travel to the face in search of eyes. Because the face is cut off, the viewer’s eye will then be drawn down by the suggested lines of both the radials and the line created in blood dripping down the figure’s face. The viewer will look more to the left of the composition because of the slight tilt of the figure’s head, and the shadow under their chin that points in that direction. Next they will see Chromo, which is an important aspect of the illustration that identifies it as album art, and is situated on a vertical line of the nine zone grid. The folds in the figure’s shirt then point the viewer to the hand. The tendrils in the energy around the hand start to point the viewer out of the composition, but folds of the shirt cross the path that the tendrils suggest and they bring the eye back upwards to the face in circular observation, which means that the viewer will then continue to reexamine the composition multiple times by following the suggested circular motion in this illustration. Overall, this is a very captivating and interesting album illustration.