Yes — The Ladder

The Art Corner was a series of articles by graphic artist Mattias Norén, who was part of the DPRP team and designed the layout we had at the time. In this series, Mattias reviewed the artwork of albums. The series started in January 1999 and ran for about 18 months.

The original introduction of the series is included below and will tell you what it was all about. This category no longer runs, so information about submitting an album for review has been removed, but we're keeping the archived articles as a separate series in the Features category.

Check out Mattias Norén's company website: ProgArt!

Dear visitor of The Art Corner!

Some people say that it's just the inside that counts, but I'm actually one of those men that cares much about the outside as well! :-)

The Art Corner only concentrates on the outside. What I think about the inside, the music, I'll keep for myself in this case.

Each album has been given 1 to 5 points in seven different categories.

  • Design / Composition: Is the idea and layout good?
  • Technical skill: Is the artist good at what he is doing?
  • Connection to the music: Is the artwork inspired by the music, album title and the lyrics? Does it feel good to look at the cover at the same time you listening to the music?
  • Logotype: How good is the design of the logotype?
  • Typography: How good is the typography? (cover and backcover)
  • Booklet: How good is the typography, artwork, layout and paper quality?
  • Disc: How good is the typography, artwork, layout on the disc?

Mattias Norén

Yes — The Ladder (September 1999)


Painting, logos and lettering by Roger Dean

Design by Martyn Dean


category score
Design and composition
Technical skill
Connection to the music

Score: 3.7


I once did a survey to find out who the most-liked prog cover artist is. Without a doubt, the answer was Mr. Roger Dean. I like his works very much as well, but for me, he isn't number one.

Dean's paintings are so connected to Yes, so it must be hard for him to give other bands a special identity. Take, for example, the Ad Infinitum album. It's hard not to think of Yes the first time you see it. The thing I don't like about Dean's work is that his paintings are way too similar to each other. Just these great landscapes, but seldom anything that grabs the viewer's attention, like some humans, creatures or buildings in the foreground.

In the image for this album, you can see two tiny people on the bridge. Those two add very much feeling to the painting even if they are only a few millimeters high. And the way Dean uses a clear blue tone in the shadows of the rock formations are brilliant.

But still, this image is too similar to his previous work. Nothing new under the sun. I know he can do better than this.