News / Graphic Design

Exclusive: Aitor Throup on creating the artwork for Kasabian’s sixth studio album

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Front cover from Kasabian’s sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud

Artist, fashion designer and creative director Aitor Throup has created the artwork for Kasabian’s sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud, available for pre-order from today.

Inspired by the aesthetic freedom found in punk fanzines, Aitor’s latest work uses “visual sampling” from various design references found in his own record collection to create album artwork which brings together a mixture of typographic styles with splashes of primary colours and monochrome photographic portraits.

Working with long-term Kasabian collaborator photographer Neil Bedford — who shot Kasabian’s veteran roadie Rick Graham for For Crying Out Loud’s cover and singles covers — and elusive young visual artist Daft Apeth, Aitor’s third piece of album artwork for the band reconsiders the roots of graphic design by making “a default design process by following the basic principles of graphical composition.”

In an exclusive, we caught up with the Amsterdam-based creative to find out more about the process behind the artwork.

How — and why — did you “deconstruct" graphic design?

I really wanted to challenge how I previously approached art direction, through the deconstruction of the graphic design tools and their known formulas — which I have used in previous works with Kasabian. I’m really embracing the basics of default composition, whilst creating my own default design process through doing so. I even wanted to embrace and explore the beauty of default fonts.

I was also really curious about the creative process of “sampling”, as it’s quite a rarely explained technique of collecting and therefore appropriating multiple references. I was actually looking through my own record collection, through particular designs… Each were communicative in their own way, their design elements being a tool for communication. This was when I started to think not just about sampling, but more about “visual sampling”, explaining the use of design references and appropriating them.

Tell us about the process behind creating the artwork. What influenced you?

It’s my third album artwork project for Kasabian and I’m really proud to continue collaborating with them; through each project we do together our shared language becomes much more fluid and we can begin to explore totally new creative avenues together. For this project, my approach was quite different to the way I normally work. Exploring the key foundations of design, I was able to exercise the possibilities of their use in a broader sense, this time by completely deconstructing them. I feel I explored the very essence of imagery, typography and colour by starkly detaching them from each other. My key collaborators on the artwork were the amazing photographer Neil Bedford and emerging visual artist Daft Apeth. He’s relatively unknown at the moment, but you’ll be seeing more from this artist in the coming months. 

Neil photographed long-term Kasabian roadie Rick Graham in a series of monochrome portraits as various “Kasabian” characters, each unpredictable in their own way visually – two of these artworks we have released today, but there are others in the series for upcoming singles. Rick really represents the band – he IS Kasabian. He has been with them since the beginning. He’s a total character, basically, one of the family.

Artist Daft Apeth created original digital illustrations to add another layer to the work, quite literally. The original drawings really enable more of the visual story-telling of the album, reflecting the lyrics, energy and attitude of the album on a whole.

Tell us more about the mysterious Daft…

Daft Apeth is a young British visual artist, someone I was really excited to work with. I really found a new freedom working with him, who encouraged a no-rules approach from my side, allowing my designs to break free from the norm. He’s quite peculiar to work with as nobody has actually ever seen him in real life.

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Back cover from Kasabian’s sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud

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Album inlay from Kasabian’s sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud

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Single image from Kasabian’s sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud