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.
Here’s Sleevage presented in X&Y form.
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.
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.
Note: Speed of Sound was beaten to the top spot in the UK Singles chart by Crazy Frog.
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.
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.