Balkan vinyl cover design
If you wish to design a bestselling pop album cover, the method is simple: Spend a lot of money on a cryptic photograph or illustration and illegible modern typography (or illegible lyrics in the star's handwriting). To produce the cover of a Balkan album, for which the budget may be somewhat more constrained, more creative techniques historically were required.

Look, Ma, No Hands!


Illustrators who have trouble with faces or hands may simply omit them. These album covers all dispense with the bourgeois affectation of facial features. They also depict three well-known schools of hand illustration: the Amputee School, left (note also the lack of feet); the Rectangular school, center, in which a simple straightedge substitutes for the ability to draw; and the Shapeless Blob school, right.

Block That Face!


If, like crooner Zvonko Bogdan, you have a face that only a Serbian mother could love, put it on the cover and your album will go zlatna (gold). If, like Ciga Despotovic, you can't afford a copy of Photoshop, a pair of scissors and a felt pen are all you need to create stunning special effects.

It's a Band! No, It's a Fungus!

Stuck for a concept? How about an illustration of subterranean fungi? It worked for Pecurka, a mid-'70s L.A. band whose name, for reasons best known to its members, meant "mushroom" in Serbo-Croatian.