Who Designed Kanye West Graduation Album Cover?

When it comes to the iconic album covers of Kanye West, one of the most recognizable and visually striking is undoubtedly the cover of his album “Graduation.” The artwork for this album was a collaboration between Kanye West and a renowned Japanese artist named Takashi Murakami.

The Collaboration

Kanye West has never been shy about expressing his admiration for art and design. He has often incorporated visual elements into his music, fashion, and album covers. For “Graduation,” he wanted something bold and unique that would stand out from other album covers in the industry.

To achieve this vision, Kanye reached out to Takashi Murakami, known for his vibrant and whimsical style. Murakami is considered one of Japan’s most influential contemporary artists and is widely recognized for his collaborations with various brands and musicians.

The Artwork

The cover artwork for “Graduation” features a colorful cartoon-style illustration created by Murakami. The central image depicts a bear wearing shutter shades against a backdrop of vibrant colors, including pink, blue, and yellow. The bear became an iconic symbol associated with Kanye West during this era.

Murakami’s distinct artistic style is evident in the intricate details of the illustration. The use of bold lines, vibrant colors, and exaggerated features gives the artwork a sense of energy and playfulness that complements Kanye’s musical style.

The Impact

The collaboration between Kanye West and Takashi Murakami resulted in an album cover that became instantly recognizable and synonymous with “Graduation.” It not only stood out among other album covers but also became an influential piece of pop culture art in its own right.

Beyond just being visually appealing, the artwork encapsulated the essence of Kanye’s creative vision for the album. It represented a departure from the more minimalistic covers of his previous works and signaled a new artistic direction for his music.


The “Graduation” album cover was a product of the collaboration between Kanye West and Takashi Murakami. The artwork’s vibrant colors, bold lines, and playful imagery perfectly captured the essence of Kanye’s music at that time. It remains an iconic and visually engaging piece of art that continues to resonate with fans and art enthusiasts alike.