Looking back on the albums of 2014, we have to admit that it's been a hell of a year.

Whether bold and beautiful images or simple, subtle signage, the last 12 months have produced some truly eye-catching and innovative visuals to represent a range of albums.

There were delectable debuts from artists like FKA twigs and Fatima Al Qadiri, replete with gorgeous album covers that deserve to be held in consideration for the National Portrait Gallery, as well as more solemn, heartfelt imagery adopted by the likes of YG and Young Fathers. Meanwhile, there were artists like Aphex Twin and Rome Fortune trying to convey not only a message but an idea to the audience—a contextualizing message which hits the viewer seconds before even putting his or her headphones on.

Take a look and see which of this year’s albums grabbed us by the eyeballs, and learn a little something about how they came to be.