Coldplay: X&Y

The album’s cryptic cover art was designed by Tappin Gofton (aka Mark Tappin and Simon Gofton), who created the cover for The Chemical Brothers’, Push the Button. The blocks are the Baudot code-encoding (ITA2, a 5-bit alphanumeric encoding used by telegraphs) of the title of the album, X&Y. (Quoted from the Wiki page)

The CD booklet contains the ITA2-encoded alphabet. But to save time you can use this X&Y code/artwork generator to make your own messages and artwork.

Coldplay X&Y Alphabet

Here’s Sleevage presented in X&Y form.

X&Y sleevage

The final page of the booklet (seen below) contains the slogan “Make Trade Fair”, using the same encoded alphabet. Holding this at an APEC protest will really hit hard to all the Coldplay fans at the summit.

Coldplay Make Trade Fair

What makes this cover work so well, besides the fact it’s abstract design created a lot of buzz, is that it could easily be adapted for the single releases. There’s no mistaking these are all part of the one album.

Coldplay Fix You

Coldplay The Hardest Part

Coldplay Speed of Sound

Note: Speed of Sound was beaten to the top spot in the UK Singles chart by Crazy Frog.

Coldplay Talk Black

Coldplay Talk White

And like the London 2012 Olympics logo will be remembered long after it’s release.

Now as good as this cover is if you live in Holland or South East Asia you would have seen these two alternate covers.

Coldplay XY Asia Edition

Coldplay Dutch Edition

Asia I can understand culturally, as Chris Martin is a good looking white guy and from my experience in Indonesia all their marketing is “face” based, however the Dutch Special Edition just confuses me.

Coldplay: X&Y

Coldplay: X&Y

The album’s cryptic cover art was designed by Tappin Gofton (aka Mark Tappin and Simon Gofton), who created the cover for The Chemical Brothers’, Push the Button. The blocks are the Baudot code-encoding (ITA2, a 5-bit alphanumeric encoding used by telegraphs) of the title of the album, X&Y. (Quoted from the Wiki page)

The CD booklet contains the ITA2-encoded alphabet. But to save time you can use this X&Y code/artwork generator to make your own messages and artwork.

Coldplay X&Y Alphabet

Here’s Sleevage presented in X&Y form.

X&Y sleevage

The final page of the booklet (seen below) contains the slogan “Make Trade Fair”, using the same encoded alphabet. Holding this at an APEC protest will really hit hard to all the Coldplay fans at the summit.

Coldplay Make Trade Fair

What makes this cover work so well, besides the fact it’s abstract design created a lot of buzz, is that it could easily be adapted for the single releases. There’s no mistaking these are all part of the one album.

Coldplay Fix You

Coldplay The Hardest Part

Coldplay Speed of Sound

Note: Speed of Sound was beaten to the top spot in the UK Singles chart by Crazy Frog.

Coldplay Talk Black

Coldplay Talk White

And like the London 2012 Olympics logo will be remembered long after it’s release.

Now as good as this cover is if you live in Holland or South East Asia you would have seen these two alternate covers.

Coldplay XY Asia Edition

Coldplay Dutch Edition

Asia I can understand culturally, as Chris Martin is a good looking white guy and from my experience in Indonesia all their marketing is “face” based, however the Dutch Special Edition just confuses me.





14 Comments

  1. I think the dutch version had some extra’s, something from a concert in the Netherlands if I remember well. EMI must have thought: ‘money!’

    Still, that’s no reason, is it.

  2. It’s a shame they felt the need to put their name and the title of the album on there in regular type as well as in coded form. It completely undermines the concept!

  3. Agreed type free would have been much stronger.

  4. The covers by Tappin Gofton hark back to New Order singles “Ceremony” and “Blue Monday” by Pete Saville.

  5. Looks a bit like Pete Saville to me.

  6. I remember as well that when it first came out Coldplay were protesting that there was any sort of code at all.

    The ‘make trade fair’ hidden in code really underlines the way they promote political issues, they don’t force you to take any notice, but if you want to dig a little deeper it’s all there for you to see.

  7. its a beayiful cd the coldplay and xy the name is the code mathematic side dark of light, o god and bad. thinking!!!!!

  8. God, that’s even duller than A Rush Of Blood To The Head. The Dutch Edition may not be great but at least it’s better than the original.

    Coldplay, batting .333 with one hit – the cover for Parachutes – and two embarrassingly wide misses.

  9. hey Miko,

    not sure what your definition of a good cover is but you can’t label something that’s simple, dull.

    Parachutes to me is dull and doesnt have any story to it.

  10. I should mention though; The picture of the Dutch edition as posted above is only a paper sleeve that goes around the jewel case containing the original artwork. The back of this paper sleeve features the tracklist and credits for what’s on the bonus disc; whereas the original booklet is exactly the same. I reckon it’s a money thing, I guess they wanted to release the album as a special edition with a bonus disc (featuring recordings from a gig in Holland) but didn’t want to have to make changes to the booklet and print it etcetera, and therefore used the paper sleeve, using a new photo to emphasize that it’s a new version (as I think this was released a few months after the original release of the album).

  11. New Order have done it in 80s…

  12. Note: Speed of Sound was beaten to the top spot in the UK Singles chart by Crazy Frog.

    And fair enough too. Throwaway pop genius will always beat maudlin MOR in the long run too.
    Comparison. ‘Popcorn’ vs. Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’. Coldplay and Radiohead are the Mike Oldfields of the 2000′s.

  13. I remember seeing some program on tv and they said how the code on the front is actually wrong :P

  14. Mister Pain, if you honestly think that Radiohead is also “maudlin MOR” then you really have a problem.

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