“As I started developing my collection, it became visually obvious that there is a trend for this genre,” says Brooklyn designer Josh Smith of his digital library of indie music. “I actually began to get confused and clicked on the wrong album, thinking it was a different band.”
Keeping some of those trends in mind, Smith created “Album Cover Rules,” a site that charts some of the most popular design elements in music today: all circles, equilateral triangles, and Instagram-style washed-out photos. It’s a bit like Paul Lamere’s Boil the Frog, but with visuals instead of audio.
“The ‘hipster’ scene now associated with indie music has an emerging aesthetic that blends ’80s, vintage themes and colors with a DIY vibe and adds in quirky abstractions,” Smith told Co.Design. “This would explain the vibrant colors, dreamy abstract visuals, and a less-polished, non-corporate finish on the covers.”