Striking Image of Two Gesturing Gold Hands Wins Artwork Design Prize For Run The Jewels 3

Since 10th November, visitors to Best Art Vinyl exhibitions in Barnsley, Bologna, Budapest and Munich have been voting for their favourite record cover artwork of the past twelve months.

These votes, along with votes cast online, have been counted and the results are in…

It can now be revealed that the publicly voted winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2017 award is Run the Jewels’ (RTJ) striking and thought provoking album cover Run The Jewels 3; with Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy in second featuring intrivate illurtrations by fames New Yorker magazine artist Ed Steed; and The Vessels image from their light installations in third with the album The Great Distraction.

The year’s 50 nominated records are currently on display at The Gallery@ The Civic, Barnsley, alongside a retrospective look at the first twelve years of the Best Art Vinyl Award. The exhibition will remain open until 20th January.

2017’s album cover art has seen highly ambitious concepts and elaborate artwork being reduced down to the ultimate 12” canvas. Now in its thirteenth year, this Art Prize once again demonstrates how original creativity is thriving in vinyl format.

The winning album cover design for Run The Jewels’ third album was Art Directed by Timothy Saccenti, following on from the original drawings by Nick Gazin used on previous RTJ records. Timothy Saccenti has a history of working in music design, specifically photography for notable artists Flying Lotus, Lana Del Ray and A Tribe Called Quest.

This is the 13th winner of the Best Art Vinyl Award, the unique Contemporary Art Prize that celebrates record cover design by compiling the best in art, photography and graphic design in modern music culture each year.

To understand the thinking behind the design, the band talk through the concept.

“For us, the RTJ1 hands were about ‘taking what’s yours’ – your world, your life, your attitude. The RTJ2 hands were wrapped in bandages, signifying injury and healing, which for us represented the growth in ideas and tone of that album. For RTJ3 the bandages are off, the chain is gone and the hands have been transformed into gold. For us this represents the idea that there is nothing to take that exists outside of yourself. You are the jewel.”

Last year’s winning album cover design was for The Last Shadow Puppets’ second album Everything You’ve Come to Expect and was created by Illustrator and designer, Matthew Cooper. The Everything You’ve Come to Expect cover, like the RTJ sleeve, features amazing photography, in this instance a studio portrait of Tina Turner taken by Vogue photographer, Jack Robinson.

2017’s winning best vinyl art joins an impressive Art Vinyl archive of celebrated visual artists. Notably, the Hipgnosis design studio and even legendary classical Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel, as well as the unknown, unsung heroes of the music industry who use design to create modern-day visual icons.

The year also saw sales of turntables and vinyl records grow at their fastest rate for decades with the Best Art Vinyl Award further demonstrating how an annual showcase of record cover design can capture the imagination of tens of thousands of vinyl lovers, who cast their votes for the best vinyl artwork of the year.

Best Art Vinyl founder, Andrew Heeps explains, “It’s a welcome return to the mainstream for the humble vinyl record because for so many Art Vinyl enthusiasts the format has always been the natural partner to the music.”

He continues, “This year the Best Art Vinyl Award has been about reaching an even wider audience to showcase these great pieces of contemporary art, as our ambitious exhibition program has achieved. In 2018, the vinyl artwork is extending beyond record shops and into art galleries, giving credit these amazing artists and creatives deserve.”

In January 2018, the winners of the Best Art Vinyl 2017 award will feature in exhibitions in London, Barnsley, Hungary, Italy and Germany and as well as on All of the designs will be displayed in the unique Art Vinyl Flip Frame which allows instant access to the music and additional inner sleeve designs.

The 50 nominated Best Art Vinyl 2017 records with designer credits can be viewed at

A full list of previous winners is also available from Wikipedia or on

The exhibition BEST ART VINYL remains opens at The Civic until 20 January 2018.

Admission is free.

For more information and to book visit or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.

For further press information or interviews, please contact:

Mary Swinden, Marketing Manager – 01226 327108

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