Designer Patso Dimitrov reimagines contemporary albums with old-school artworks
Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kehlani and more get the retro vinyl treatment
Barcelona-based art director and graphic designer Patso Dimitrov spins the albums in his collection into old-school covers with a retro touch. So far, he’s reworked albums from Kehlani, Erykah Badu, Danny Brown and more into stunning, classic covers that look so legit. The sleeves are complete with record label imprints, dust marks, vintage fonts and colours, and scuffs. Creating designs as a freelance artist for NBA, Dimitrov works on rebranding and conceptualising in his spare time. Across the internet, you can find designs of his that link music with fashion, such as Nike Kobe sneakers infused with Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction sleeve.
Below, we catch up with the artist to to delve into the treasures of his vinyl collection, and discuss how those old-school covers came to be created.
Could you tell me a bit about your background?
I was born and raised in Bulgaria until I turned 16 (I’m 24 now). I moved out of there and have been living throughout Europe for the last eight years in Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, France and currently, I live in Barcelona, Spain, where I plan on staying for as long as I can; I love it here. Aside from the album covers, I’ve worked as a freelance graphic designer for the NBA for about a year now. I work with artists on their album packagings and every now and then, when I feel good about a product I’ve conceptualised, whether it’s a jersey or a t-shirt, I put that out for sale on my website.
How did the idea come about?
The idea came to me very organically. I collect vinyl records myself and am a huge music fan period (not only hip-hop). Obviously I’ve been doing alternate artworks for a while now and have always liked to put my spin on things, but for the past few months I’ve been in the creative space of listening to a lot of funk and jazz from the 70s and 80s, and trying to put a more modern, more personal, spin to the visuals from that period of time. So when I combined that with my fondness of the record covers I recreated, that was the end result. A direct inspiration would be The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album by Bob Dylan and Black Moses by Isaac Hayes if I have to point out a couple.
Why did I make them? That was just the creative space I was in. While working on demand, I felt – and still do – that those visuals need to make a comeback, because to me personally, they feel more timeless when compared to the recent trends of album artworks.
Which one was your first cover?
I made the first vintage album cover about a month ago and it was the Kanye West – Life of Pablo one which I put on my instagram by itself. But after that I decided to see if I can reimagine some more. I have a wide range of vinyl records; I went through them, got some inspiration and got to work.
Have these covers been made available to purchase?
As far as selling them as posters/art pieces – I would love to do that, obviously. But being a huge fan of music I have too much admiration for the time and effort the musicians put to try and make money off of it. Plus, I believe even if I pulled the trigger I would be hit with a cease and desist sooner than later. If I ever got their blessing to go ahead and do it, or work with them on something in the future, I would do it, no doubt.
Could you detail your relationship with hip-hop to me?
I’ve been listening to hip-hop ever since I was a kid, around 12-13, and I believe I will always remain a very big fan of the genre. However, I was raised in a household that worships RnB and funk music, so those are the genres of music that are true to my heart. My favourite hip-hop artists are Nas, Method Man, Andre 3000 and OutKast as a whole.
You can find more of Dimitrov’s work on his website