The album cover for The Rolling Stone’s 1967 album, Between the Buttons was notable at the time for its very understated labeling. Running counter to the “make the logo bigger” approach, the cover is nearly devoid of identifying typography except for the tiny labeling on the buttons of Charlie Watts’ double breasted jacket.
The title of the album reflects a similar diffidence. When Watts asked producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, what the title of the new album was going to be, he answered “between the buttons”—which simply meant that the title was still undetermined. The phrase, however, became a sort of working title, which was later “determined” to be the title, after all.
It appears that the lettering superimposed on the buttons may have been Charlie Watts’ as well. He’s credited with having drawn the cartoons on the back of the album and he had a background in graphic design…
“The famous Charles Daniels Studios was a graphic design studio in London in the 1960s. Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones worked there prior to me. He left to concentrate on his drumming career so I took over his position within the studio.”
Richard Deverell, former studio manager at Charles Daniels Studio
I always figured that those eye-shaped light areas behind the psychedelic lettering were retouched, but reading about the photo session, it sounds as if they were a natural result of the optics…
…Using a home-made camera filter constructed of black card, glass and Vaseline, [Gered] Mankowitz created the effect of the Stones dissolving into their surroundings. The goal of the shoot was, in Mankowitz’s words, “to capture the ethereal, druggy feel of the time; that feeling at the end of the night when dawn was breaking and they’d been up all night making music, stoned.” Brian Jones’ dishevelled and ghostly appearance on the cover disturbed many of his fans, and critic David Dalton wrote that he looked “like a doomed albino raccoon.”
“Brian was lurking in his collar,” Mankowitz commented years later, “I was frustrated because it felt like we were on the verge of something really special and he was messing it up. But the way Brian appeared to not give a shit is exactly what the band was about.”
from Wikipedia’s entry on Between the Buttons
(Another record cover, featuring the same photo, after the fold…)
That contest involves figuring out why we thought it was a good idea to put 2 rusty steel ball bearings into spine of the CD’s jewel case.
FREE! a free copy of the CD we call Old! will be sent to the first person to correctly identify the specific artwork that the ball bearings allude to. (Hint: it’s a painting by an artist we’ve mentioned on box vox more than once.)*
*Employees of Beach Packaging Design and their family members are not eligible to win.
The Between the Buttons album cover, is actually another visual hint.