Design of Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” album




        The album by English singer Ed Sheeran “divide” which contains one of his famous song “shape of you” was released in 2017  and also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album. After the big success of the album, the cover design also catches people’s eyes right away. Like Ed Sheeran’s last two album cover, “X” which has a striking green as background and with a big X in the front, the other one “+”  has an orange background and with a plus sign, and in his new album “ divide”, has a blue background and a divide symbol in the front. Ed Sheeran’s albums have a lot of commonalities, such as they all have one single bold and bright colour as the background, and they all have a sense of natural feeling. The album’s cover was designed by the UK-based studio “Adult Art Club” and founded by Jonny Costello in 2015. Costello is a British art director, illustrator and designer. His works are mostly inspired by pop culture. His company Adult art club’s work across music, design, illustration, print design and packaging.


         According to the interview of Costello, even though the meaning behind the design was very open, but there were few strains they need to follow. When they first got this project, they were only given the album title and they need to follow the naming system of Ed Sheeran. In order to maintain the continuity of the previous album, which all have bold and solid colours, such as the last two albums was orange and green, and for this one, they were asked for blue. The spine painting at the background of the “Divide” was painted by Ed Sheeran himself,  he used one of Damian Hirst spin painting machines, the original painting is massive, it’s about seven feet by seven feet, and he did two versions of the painting, and then picked the best one for the album. The spin painting forms organic lines that are very natural, and have no rules, but they all going toward to the title, and they used handwritten titles for this album which fits the natural feel of the album design and it just likes Ed Sheeran himself, a very talented and natural songwriter. Costello said that the original painting has a lot of beautiful details, but it kind of been losing from the digital so they used digital backed medium format cameras to capture those details. Even though the design of the album seems quite simple, but the fact is that it took them for nine months to complete, and the concept behind the album is much deep than we thought. 



“Art Directing a Monster Hit Record: Adult Art Club on Designing Ed Sheeran’s Divide.” It’s Nice That,

“Making a Career from Things You Love: Jonny Costello.” Lecture In Progress, 19 Feb. 2019,


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