Album Art Trends We Love

February 14, 2024
By iQ Staff
album artwork

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, our creative department made this “mixtape” of current albums from some of our favorite artists and the design trends influencing their distinct cover art styles. Want to take a trip down memory lane? Revisit our favorite album art design trends from 2019 here.


Sascha Fujiwara’s Picks

Digital Designer

Sascha Fujiwara

Past Present
Embracing a wave of nostalgia, the retro illustration and cartoon graphic design trend transports viewers to bygone eras with vintage charm. It draws inspiration from the 1950s to the 1980s with hand-drawn illustrations, distressed textures and vibrant color palettes. Bold typography that is reminiscent of classic posters and iconic vintage iconography, such as retro cars and appliances, contribute to a visually rich storytelling experience. Beyond mere aesthetics, this trend holds cross-generational appeal, creating a connection between older audiences reliving memories and younger generations discovering and appreciating the stylized past.

Jordan Higa’s Picks

Senior Designer

Jordan Higa

Swiss with a Twist
Originating in Switzerland in the 1950's, Swiss Design was a reaction to the frivolity of the Art Noveau and Art Deco movements. Characterized by minimalist, asymmetrical and gridded layouts and photography, Swiss Design prioritizes simplicity and readability. Today, a new trend has emerged, featuring the core principles of Swiss Design with the inclusion of contemporary typography, photographic styles and graphic elements.

Scott Kaneshiro’s Picks

Senior Vice President, Creative Director

Scott Kaneshiro

Black & White Blur
Black and white photography as album art is a classic that transcends musical genres. Lately, there is an interesting emerging portrait trend. Blurry, often partially obscured faces are the focal point, with no album titles or artist names to distract from the moment. The mysterious subject, warm tint and lack of information invites the viewer in.

Anna Fong’s Picks

Senior Digital Designer

Anna Fong

Futuristic Forms
Designed with modern tools on digital devices, this futuristic design trend gives off a sci-fi feel with vibrant neon color schemes, metallic tones and gradients. Digitally manipulated images of urban scenes with abstract patterns and geometric shapes create an illusion of energy and motion that make their designs come to life. And sans-serif typefaces add to the clean and modern style as opposed to serif typefaces, which may come across as outdated. As AI tools continue to improve, this style may become more popular and accessible.