Oli Bentley is the founder of design studio Split. His work in music focuses on album cover design and identity design for alternative and instrumental music. Split works with both the iconic Leeds-based label, The Leaf Label (Szun Waves, Lawrence Pike, Matthew Bourne, Comet is Coming, Snapped Ankles, Caribou, Triosk) and leading UK jazz label Edition Records (Chris Potter, Phronesis, Mark Lockheart, Jullian Argüelles Kneebody, Dinosaur, Laura Jurd, Elliot Galvin). He has also worked with a number of other independent and signed artists. Oli also once designed Dizzy Rascal’s website. But we don’t talk about that.
Sadly no award-winning designers were available for this panel. But Oli has nearly won awards for his album artwork – so that will have to do. Split's laser installation and artwork for Vessel’s The Great Distraction earned the slightly underwhelming accolade of being voted the third best album artwork of the year at the Art Vinyl Awards. Whilst The Leaf Label’s 20th Anniversary box set – listed by The Vinyl Factory as the second best piece of album packaging of the year – was nominated for the Independent Music Awards. However, in Oli’s greatest brush with rock and roll fame, it lost out to winner Noddy Holder. On looking back at the past 10 years as a designer in the music industry, one can only conclude he needs to try a bit harder.