Sleeve notes: Kate Moross on Prince’s 1999

Prince's 1999

Five music-lovers from the world of art and design share the
album artwork that has stuck with them since they first laid eyes
on it, and the effect the music itself had on their life and work.
Second in line, Kate Moross.

Kate Moross is the founder of Studio Moross a London-based creative team who create moving image, branding, videos and animation for musicians, record labels and a whole load of exciting, high-end brands. They recently created the identity for the MTV Movie Awards 2016, the live tour visuals for One Direction and the identity for Parklife 2016.


Here, she talks about Prince’s seminal album, 1999:

“A good album should look good and sound even better. That is why I love Prince’s 1999. The artwork is weird and off kilter reflecting its contents. I wanted to find out who had created the artwork but I came to a dead end. The artist is “unknown,” which led me to think what I had always suspected; that Prince made it himself. I can imagine him colouring it in with some felt tips in a hotel room somewhere. I researched this a bit further and found out I may have been right.

The artwork contains many references hidden in the typography, which is something that I enjoy in my own work. Remixed into the artwork are references to the album Controversy (studs and Rude Boy pin), a penis disguised as a number one, a hand reaching down from heaven, and “The Revolution” written backwards as some sort of cryptic message. I love hidden messages, especially in album’s as epic as this, there are puzzles to be solved. You can listen to album and join the dots.

When I was at school I would go back to my friend Zara’s house and we would jump around in the dark listening to Prince. It was so epic, I had grown up listening to commercial pop music: Simon and Garfunkel and Tracy Chapman. Sexy synth funk was a new sound for me and it was perfect. It made me engage with more genres. As a teenager I could break out of my Nu Metal rebellion and enjoy all kinds of music. From there I would steal CD’s from my brother picking them out by their cover artwork and loving every one. I think you can judge an album by it’s cover. In Prince’s 1999 you have a classic album with a classic sleeve.”

See more work from Kate Moross
Read more Sleeve Notes.

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