Variations

Returning to Cyndi Lauper (I’ve been scanning some sleeves for a possible cover art book project lately) this 12″ maxi single dates from 1989 and shows the independence afforded various record label territories at the time. Cyndi Lauper always went for a striking visual cover shoot for her releases, and both these have the same A-side but different images on the front. The European version, with the shot of Cyndi in harlequin trousers, rather spoils things with tatty typography.

The UK version in contrast is very much more hip. The UK cover photo was from a shoot by Caroline Greyshock and the design was handed over to Hill Archer Studio (who did a lot of fairly routine sleeve work from the mid-80s on, with a few stand out exceptions). Hence I suppose their slightly corporate response, but it is overall much more exciting visually and makes the European cover look very dowdy by comparison. The designer has picked up on the autumnal colours from the decoration on Cyndi’s outfit for the typography. I suspect the song title was generated from letters scanned out of old printed sources, I’m not sure such type was available commercially at this time (though today loads of similar fonts are around). As was traditional at the time the two tracks off the album were boosted by an otherwise unreleased live track. The only downside to the sleeve was the application of a big sticker which had to come off but took the print varnish with it! Australia and Spain also did their own designs.

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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