Stanley Donwood decided to ditch the artwork for ‘In Rainbows’ just before the album’s download-only release on October 10, he said on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme
Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood, the band’s regular visual collaborator and university friend of Thom Yorke, confirmed he had designed artwork for the new album but the group had decided to hold it back. “There was one [album cover] but because it was an mp3 we decided not to use it,” he told Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme. “It was a last minute decision, it was all ready to go but ended up being left on the laptop. What did you miss out on? Well it’s very colourful – I’ve finally embraced colour! It’s a rainbow but it is very toixc, it’s more like the sort of one you’d see in a puddle.”
Meanwhile, Donwood confessed he did not pay for the album, after Radiohead let fans name their own price for the record, Stanley: “I paid no pence for the album. I was just checking the website was working. If you paid nothing the screen flashed up ‘we value your custom, you’re in a queue’, whereas if you paid for it you went straight to the download code, just a bit of irony that no one got as normal.”
Donwood recalled that Thom Yorke actually suffered a nightmare end to his degree course due to an early model computer.
“All of Thom’s stuff for his final degree show was done on computer,” Stanley explained. “One of those early ones with a thin slot for the disk in the front. I remember somebody wiped his final degree show by accident just before it was due in. He had to do it all again in two weeks which he wasn’t pleased about.” Fortunately, Thom Yorke graduated in the end. [transcript: NME]