Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimazu Yuko Shimizu

Award winning Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts.

33 Album Covers

The Society of Illustrators annual show of advertising and institutional category just opened last week here in New York (runs up to March 20).

I have two pieces in the show, both of which were album covers created for a British music magazine The Word. They have supplement CD filled with new music every month.

To have two of my favorite covers out of 33 covers I created monthly, was a good finale for the project. The project that started close to three years ago, recently ended with the magazine redesign as of February issue of this year.

This monthly gig came during their last redesign. Matthew Ball, a Scottish freelance art director and former Rolling Stone AD who I used to work with often, kindly pulled me into this project. What I thought would only last for a short period, ended up as accumulation of 33 images. I think I got some good pieces out of them which lead to some other jobs and projects.

The Word Magazine (March 2010): Now Hear This! - Illustration 1
The Word Magazine (March 2010): Now Hear This! - Illustration 2
Above are two images accepted into The Society of Illustrators advertising and institutional show. They were both created for The Word magazine supplement CD Now Hear This!Readership of the magazine is mainly young men, so the only art direction they gave me was to have “sexy girl with music instruments”. I had a lot of fun with this lighthearted project every month. I think I did pretty much every variation I think of in the theme within that 32 covers. Things do end when they need to end.  It was time for a change.

In this occasion, I decided to post some of the covers I was happy with. You can also see cover image archive here.

Big thank you to Matthew Ball, editor Mark Ellen, AD Jonathan Sellers, production editor Mike Johnson, and last but not least Jerry Parkins who made sure my payments don’t get delayed every month.

The new The Word looks really good with illustrated covers by André Carrilho. Take a look when you are at (international) newsstands.

The Word Magazine (March 2010): Now Hear This! - Collection 1
I decided to put all the past covers out and take a photo. Wow, I made so many in less than three years…
The Word Magazine (March 2010): Now Hear This! - Collection 2
Above are some of my favorite covers. Many of them ended up reused in different projects later.
The Word Magazine (March 2010): Now Hear This! - Spread 1
The Word Magazine (March 2010): Now Hear This! - Spread 2
We were so used to working together, most of the month, our process got very simple: one sketch, one final. This, of course, does not happen often with other clients.