AMP Visual were commissioned to undertake the art direction, design and advertising for U2’s Songs Of Experience, partner to the band’s previous album, Songs Of Innocence. The two albums contain a dialogue between the contrasts of innocence and experience. The design depicts Bono’s son Eli and The Edge’s daughter Sian holding hands. In the photograph, Sian wears a US military helmet, signifying a universal innocence despite the realities of a tough world.
Avoiding titling or a formal graphic framework, the album’s visual themes instead are illustrated through the packaging style, typography, Anton Corbin’s photography and use of a specific shade of blue called cyan, which is used throughout – including the vinyl disc which is pressed onto translucent blue-coloured vinyl. The two figures on the album cover became a unique icon device, which carried through the album’s promotional and merchandising materials.
Songs Of Experience was also released as a bespoke, individually-numbered box set containing, among other items, a special 16-page newspaper-style lyric sheet printed on light blue paper.
AMP Visual’s relationship with U2 goes back a very long way. It has been an exciting, fruitful and demanding collaboration, spanning years of technological and social change. We have designed almost every one of the band’s album covers for every format, for every market, as well as generating all forms of promotion in print, digital, advertising, merchandising, books, websites and collectibles.
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