Release date: July 10, 2012
Photography: Dave Eggar
Album artwork: Thomas Mastorakos, Aaron Martinez, Phil Toselli
Label: Def Jam

Frank Ocean took a simple route with the cover of his breakthrough album channel ORANGE. Employing the classic Cooper Black font—a staple of his Odd Future crew and hip-hop history, alike—next to a more modern, Sans-Serif font shows just how smart this dude is, looking back to the past, while clearly aware of his surroundings. And there's still that sense of something bubbling up beneath the surface, quite literally here, as the color spots of the camera flash come into view just behind the main focus of the image.

channel ORANGE is a strong enough album musically that its design visually didn't need much over-the-top haranguing—it says everything it needed to in three colors and two words. —Dale Eisinger