The Minimalism Of Oh Wonder Album Covers


Oh Wonder are a singing-songwriting duo from London. Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West together have written 3 albums since they started out together in 2014. They’re now internationally successful and both singer’s voices blend really wonderfully together. Their music has evolved a lot, from simple but elegant harmonies to fun, disco-pop, tracks on their more recent albums. For their first album, Anthony and Josephine recorded and released one song a month for a year from their home studio, finishing up in late 2015 with a gorgeous album.


Side note, I am an OG, Oh Wonder fan and this is one of my only musical ‘I was listening to them before they were famous’ claim. I heard each new song as it came out and got signed copies of their first album on CD and vinyl. I also saw them perform in 2016 at the Roundhouse in London during their first ever tour. Today, I have signed copies of all 3 of their albums as I love the music and the design, here’s why…

Their first, self titled, album art was so minimalistic, it’s impressive and I love it a lot. The clean black on white look, the thin, but strong, square border which elegantly frames the contents is clever. Then the bravery to just have initials “OW” with your band’s title / album name underneath is so clean and really is the bare minimum, but everything you could need. You’ve got to give Oh Wonder credit for wanting to let their music speak for itself and not have a loud ‘look at me’ design. This cover captures the clean, elegant and moving music contained within. It jumped out at me when I first saw it in 2015 and I still have the signed vinyl on my wall today because the design is excellent. I’ve even applied my typeface deduction skills to it and I’m 99.9% sure that the typeface is Gill Sans. The font used for “Oh Wonder” is Gill Sans Regular and the font used for “OW” is Gill Sans SemiBold.

Oh Wonder’s second album “Ultralife” from 2017 followed a similar, simple, monochrome, design with another box, this time white framing a photo of the two artists inside it. I like the cover’s balance by having the band name in the top left, the album title running down the bottom right side and the only bit of colour on the cover being a single piece of blue tape across the bottom left edge. I love this touch and I’m sure it has a meaning but I’m not sure what. It’s a great aesthetic design decision and the album overall still follows a minimalistic style.

Lastly, their latest album, released just a few months ago in February, again follows a crazily minimal style. A simple gradient, sky blue background, with their signature “OW” in white above a small image of the pair with their heads on each other’s shoulders. The simple cream and white costumes make for another aesthetically pleasing, simple but effective and intriguing design that in my opinion would make you want to hear why the cover looks like this. All these covers are great pieces of design and I can’t wait to see what Oh Wonder’s fourth album cover will look like.

As for the designer of all 3 of these album covers, including booklet inserts, posters and more, is the London based, freelance graphic designer, graphic artist and creative director, Casey Roarty. Her art has inspired me, whenever possible, to keep my design minimal and effective. What I think Roarty proves here is that often in design, less really is more.


Check out Graphic Artist Casey Roarty here:


You can check out Oh Wonder’s website here at:

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