The artwork for David Bowie‘s final album ‘Blackstar’ has been released publicly for free use.
Bowie’s London design agency Barnbrook have released variations of the design for usage under a Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence.
A statement from the company reads: “Barnbrook loved working with David Bowie, he was simply one of the most inspirational, kind people we have met. So in the spirit of openness and in remembrance of David we are releasing the artwork elements of his last album [‘Blackstar’] to download here free under a Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence.
“That means you can make t-shirts for yourself, use them for tattoos, put them up in your house to remember David by and adapt them too, but we would ask that you do not in any way create or sell commercial products with them or based on them. Any questions or commercial licence usage please contact us.”
Designer Jonathan Barnbrook recently discussed the meaning behind the ‘Blackstar’ artwork.
“This was a man who was facing his own mortality,” Barnbrook recently told Dezeen. “The Blackstar symbol, rather than writing ‘Blackstar’, has as a sort of finality, a darkness, a simplicity, which is a representation of the music.”
“A lot of people said it was a bullshit cover when it came out, that it took five minutes to design. But I think there is a misunderstanding about the simplicity.”
The vinyl record sees the star cut from its black sleeve, showing the record inside. “The fact that you can see the record as a physical thing that degrades, it get scratched as soon as it comes into being, that is a comment on mortality too,” Barnbrook said of its design.
Speaking about working with Bowie in general, Barnbrook added: “He always wanted to do something interesting, often to the annoyance of the record company. He understood the value of the image on a record cover, when other people had forgotten about it.”
Barnbrook previously worked with Bowie on the artwork for 2002’s ‘Heathen’, 2003’s ‘Reality’, 2013’s ‘The Next Day’ and 2014 compilation album ‘Nothing Has Changed’.