Collector’s Edition: Stanley Donwood Artist Cover Bomb

Collector’s Edition is a new visual culture book authored by Stuart Tolley and published by Thames and Hudson. It is a global showcase for the most beautiful, innovative and inspirational graphic design and packaging created for the music, book and magazine industries.

Stanley Donwood

To complete the project Stuart has released a Collector’s Edition ‘Artist Cover Bomb’ Series, featuring unique handmade artwork by Faber author Stanley Donwood, Paul McCartney, Nick Cave, Wayne Coyne, Peter Gabriel, Oliver Jeffers, The Designers Republic, Alec Soth and Jessica Hische.

Stanley Donwood Radiohead's In Rainbows

The concept for special edition packaging isn’t new, which Stuart acknowledges in his book, but Collector’s Edition is instead a showcase for the ‘new wave’ of creativity, which he believes started with Radiohead’s In Rainbows album. The bands seventh studio album was released in multiple formats, culminating in a £40 collector’s edition box set with artwork by Stanley Donwood. In an exclusive interview for the book, Stanley comments that “I was speechless when Thom told me I had to make something worth £40. It took me a while to get my head around it, so it took a lot of time. There were a lot of mock-ups.” But the box set sold out very quickly as fans bought it for Stanley’s beautiful artwork, instead of the music alone, which could be downloaded in a ‘pay what you want’ model.

Stanley Donwood Radiohead's King of Limbs

Stuart, along with journalist Matthew Lee and photographer Ivan Jones, travelled to Stanley’s studio to talk exclusively about creating the artwork for the collector’s edition versions of In Rainbows and The King of Limbs. This interview and portrait photo is the starting point for the book and one of the highlights of a two-year project. “The interview was really relaxed. We spent the first part just chatting about and listening to music in general, before starting to talk about Stanley’s artwork, record label exploits and designs for Radiohead. We didn’t realise it at the time, but on the back wall was a work in progress painting of ‘Nether’ – the incredible woodland painting that was used for the Glastonbury 2014 artwork.”

Stanley Donwood Atoms for Peace

The Collector’s Edition book project comes to a completion with the beautiful ‘Artist Cover Bomb’ series. Each contributing artist was asked to draw directly onto the cover of Collector’s Edition, to create a series of one-off artworks, which are currently being auctioned to help raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society. Stanley’s striking hand painted, black striped artwork is inspired by his cover artwork for AMOK, the Thom Yorke Atoms For Peace side project. Stuart adds “I was really happy when Stanley agreed to participate. The book starts with his interview, so for him to find the time to contribute really completes the project.”

Stanley Donwood AMOK

The Collector’s Edition ‘Artist Cover Bomb’ Series is currently on auction until 12th December.


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