LargeUp Exclusive: Visual Culture W/ Art Director Greg Burke
Jamaica-born, Long Island-raised Greg Burke has designed covers for some of the most notable albums of the last two decades, from Missy Elliott’s Supa Dupa Fly to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3—and a whole slew of ’90s underground rap classics, too, like Group Home’s Livin’ Proof. Currently, Burke is the VP creative director at Atlantic Records, where he oversees design packages for LPs by everyone from T.I. to Jason Mraz. In this sitdown interview at Atlantic’s Manhattan office for LargeUp's Visual Culture series, he shares stories from his days designing for Island, Elektra and Tommy Boy Records in the ’90s, the dying art of CD booklet illustration and collaborating creatively with T.I. and Jay-Z. Read an anecdote about his 1st meeting with Tommy Boy's Tim Silverman below, and then keep reading via the link at bottom.
"Someone told me about Tommy Boy Records. The owner of Tommy Boy, Tom Silverman, was very particular about who he chooses for the company, because Tommy Boy was such a tight-knit family. So I had my interview with the art directors there, and they loved me and they were like, let us bring you up to Tom. But Tom Silverman, during my interview, fell asleep. Now that is a sign that you do not have the job! So I start to pack up my portfolio, and he wakes up. “Hey let me take you downstairs to meet some of the other people.” And I get a call a few days later like, “Yo, Tom loved you. When can you start?” I think when I am 100 years old I will say that Tommy Boy was the best place I ever worked."