Hard Format is on hiatus

Author: Colin | Published: 30/11/11

If you’ve enjoyed the website, please accept my apologies. I’m in two minds whether to continue with the site or not. My reasons are as follows:

I still believe in the importance of physical media, even if it’s becoming a niche area. I’m not a big fan of the ever-growing number of expensive special editions. I think the work of Second Language and Kraftwerk best represent the twin poles of what I love about music design.

All of the above doesn’t mean that Hard Format is over. I’m still thinking about it. I  have a few more posts to publish. In the meantime, I suggest you follow the site on Twitter/RSS/Facebook so you’ll get a notification of new posts. You should also read DJ Food’s blog and { feuilleton }, both great resources for intelligent and passionate commentary on visual matters, frequently music-related.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Thanks to you for your wonderful work! It’s made me discover (and sometimes rediscover) some beautiful sleeves and records.

    I’ll keep your blog in my RSS strzam.

    Comment by DjMerguez — November 30, 2011 @ 2:00 pm
  2. Colin,

    Been following Hard Format on for a while. I love it. You do amazing work. It would be sad to see such a valuable resource disappear. Of course I appreciate it is a labour of love and you give a lot for very little return. Therefore I completely understand all the reasons you lay out above for thinking of taking a break. Best I can do is let you know how much I love what you are doing here and offer my support for the future.


    Comment by Stewart — November 30, 2011 @ 2:15 pm
  3. I love the site and have thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful design of the music you highlighted. For the musicians and the designers including yourself its all about the labor of love. Most of these albums don’t have a voice without people like you. So I applaud all the hard work you put into the site and understand your reasoning. Maybe a break, will bring back the fire. As a graphic design student I get inspired by some of the work I seen here. I thank you for not just disappearing.

    Music Design—Hear with your eyes.


    Comment by Mike — November 30, 2011 @ 6:04 pm
  4. Whatever you decide, good luck!
    I really enjoyed your work here.

    Comment by Gabriele — November 30, 2011 @ 7:48 pm
  5. Colin, I think your site is excellent (I just discovered it today) and thanks for posting the video made for Mark Fry and The A-Lords… I noticed Mark here and also Christer Hennix, who is another dear friend from an era when we all lived in Woodstock, New York and Christer was a student of Pran Nath… good luck with your photography.

    Comment by Virginia — November 30, 2011 @ 8:28 pm
  6. I’ve been subscribing to the site for a while now. Thank you for all of your hard work.

    Comment by Jared — December 1, 2011 @ 7:34 am
  7. Thanks for the mention Colin, it’s a shame to see this entry as the site is, as said above, an amazing resource of design. I know how much effort you put in to taking your own pictures which seems to be a rarity in our cut and paste world. Maybe rest is a good idea and you’ll drift back into it when the time is right. I know the site is highly regarded by several people in the industry as a benchmark for quality design.

    Comment by kevin foakes — December 1, 2011 @ 9:34 am
  8. Sad news – I love the site
    Thank you for all the great work – Some of the great music and sleeveart I’ve only discovered here and ordered it from labels or musicians.


    Comment by Thomas — December 1, 2011 @ 2:52 pm
  9. Hello,

    I have Hard format in My Google Reader.
    Discovered a lot of good music and super music objects: Thank you so much for this.
    And plz consider to continue.

    Good luck

    Comment by Run — December 2, 2011 @ 12:07 pm
  10. Thanks for all your kind comments, they’re really appreciated. As I said, I have a few posts still to publish and having finally managed to do the first of those, I’m wondering whether I might be able to build up momentum again. I will see how things go. Thanks again.

    Comment by Colin — December 2, 2011 @ 2:30 pm
  11. Thanks for putting together this web site. It is beautiful and significant in so many ways. Such a great exhibition and documentation of magical intersections between design and music. I appreciate all of the hard work you’ve done…it’s really something special.

    Comment by Hans — December 3, 2011 @ 12:47 pm
  12. Hi Colin
    Sad to hear you’re news.. it’s hard work keeping these going and you have my sympathy and understanding. Best of luck with whatever you decide and thanks for the enjoyment I’ve had from your wonderful site over the last year or so.
    Joe Blogs

    Comment by Joe Austin — December 3, 2011 @ 1:07 pm
  13. i was wondering what had happened and i am sorry that you are going through a hard patch. whatever your decision, i would like to thank you for all your hard work and for introducing me to such wonderful and eclectic music, art + design. without your site, i would never have discovered richard skelton, the hardy tree, klima, second language or auris apothecary… thanks again and i do hope you do decide to keep hardformat alive… for selfish reasons. all the best!

    Comment by zaid omar — December 6, 2011 @ 12:32 am
  14. Inspiring site, only a month after this post you got a mention on The Wire: http://thewire.co.uk/articles/8113/
    That’s how I found it!

    Comment by Sam — January 25, 2012 @ 12:29 am
  15. Hello Sam, welcome! Aye, the site was mentioned – not by The Wire, but by a kind reader. Hard Format’s nearly 5 years old and they’ve never seen fit to give it a mention themselves.

    Comment by Colin — January 29, 2012 @ 11:55 pm
  16. That is a shame, but I’m pleased you’re still posting. An inspiring resource.

    Comment by Sam — March 3, 2012 @ 12:50 pm
  17. discovered this site yesterday throught roa who is the artist who painted the airecords album with the rat. i spend a while surfing your site and it’s fantastic! i’m hopefully making a vinyl of my own and was thinking about how the cover should look like. this site is a big inspiration to want to create something beautiful. thanks!

    Comment by Marcelo — March 4, 2012 @ 2:19 pm


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