Born & Raised Album Cover – John Mayer

I was commissioned by Sony Music/columbia records, New York to design an album cover for John Mayer, the American pop and blues rock musician. The album is called Born and Raised. John as you know, is a singer-songwriter, recording artist and music producer.

Working with John on the brief of the artwork, he asked me to include coins, watches, flowers, and ribbons. I had a great start because of his direction and experience in graphic design and knew this would go smoothly. He also has a great eye for detail and design.

The artwork took roughly one month to complete, drawings were made separately in this time, but most of the artwork from Vectoring and finishing in Photoshop took just short of 28 days. This has without a doubt been one of the most enjoyable projects I have been involved with due to the person I was working for.

The album is out now on iTunes and has also been made as a traditional LP with full cover jacket and internal artwork. The work was commissioned by Sony Music and Columbia Records, New York at the beginning of 2012.

It appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show on the 14th May 2012 in Chicago and David Letterman Show on the 17th May in New York 2012. and many more international shows.  The images below show step by step artwork of the cover along with other ideas presented to John back in December 2011

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117 Responses to “Born & Raised Album Cover – John Mayer”

  1. […] about master illustrator David Smith creating an album cover for John Mayer. Now David has posted a gallery of illustrations & photos from the project on his site. var addthis_options = "facebook,twitter,igoogle"; var addthis_config […]

  2. C J says:

    David, I just watched your video “The Making of John Mayer’s “Born and Raised’ Artwork” and I am speechless. I remember seeing the album cover for the first time in my local record store and I was blown away by how amazing it looked. I can’t even wrap my head around that level of talent! What an incredible gift you have! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

  3. Sascha says:

    Hello David,

    I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times by now, but I was blown away by your work on the John Mayer album and subsequently by your other works. It’s brilliant to see someone work with such a passion and gift these days. You’re an amazingly talented artist and craftsman.

    Wishing you all the best in the future, your friend in germany,


  4. Keith D says:


    Followed a link offered in the latest edition of SmashingMagazine regarding cover for John Mayer album. Then to your site. FANTASTIC collection of work! David, your work truly inspires (regardless of the tools you use) and thank you for sharing so much info on your process.

    I work as a designer in web and mobile. The work does have its rewards and challenges. Viewing your work reminds me though, to take time to pursue the traditional skills even if just for myself. The pencils, colored inks and watercolors languishing in the corner are not going to put themselves on paper.

    Thank you again for the look at your studio.

    Keith D

  5. Scritch says:

    This post just blew my mind. I still don’t understand how you vectorised everything so tightly but its just stunning. <3 <3 <3

  6. […] artist, who has recently collaborated with musician John Mayer to design his new album cover, is one of a handful left in the world who can do this tricky Victorian style of artwork. The […]

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  8. David Greeley says:

    LOVE your work, I’ve always appreciated this genre of illustrating and reverse glass work, yours is exemplary…

  9. Louie says:

    I seldom leave a response, but i did some searching and wound up here Born & Raised Album Cover – John Mayer

  10. […] una mención aparte por el arte de tapa del disco creada por el bueno de David A. Smith, un especialista en el arte del dibujo tipográfico a mano alzada. A continuación, un […]

  11. Jamie says:

    David, I met you the day that you met John for the first time at his Born and Raised Paso Robles concert. I was the one with the album, and you signed it along with John. I am sorry I didn’t see the “making of” prior to meeting you. But now I realize how beautifully talented you are! It was truly an honor to meet you and to have your autograph on your artwork! Spectacular! Thank you!

  12. David Smith says:

    Thanks Jamie, it was nice to meet you at the concert. Enjoy the album!

  13. Very nice work. And website

  14. KID STYLES says:

    Excellent work! I watched the video of the making of the “Born and Raised” album cover and artistic excellence in the whole craftsmanship. Great video and keep up the great work. I am an artist of many mediums and its good to see someone spotlight the whole making of process.

  15. David Churchill says:

    Hi, Saw your cover for Born & Raised. Looking for something like this for the cover of my next poetry book. How much are your fees? Thanks.

  16. Heather says:

    You absolutely blow my mind. I can easily say you have become one of my favorite artist, what an inspiration you are. Someday, I dream to commission a piece of yours for a tattoo.

  17. David Smith says:

    Thankyou Heather.

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