Saga — Full Circle

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

Saga — Full Circle (Steamhammer - SPV 085-21462 CD, September 1999)


Front cover painting by Fabian Kraus

Cover design and graphics by Penny Crichton


category score
Design and composition
Technical skill
Connection to the music

Score: 3.4


Saga's albums have changed a lot in quality of the artwork through the years. The early albums, like Images At Twilight and Silent Knight, had terrific covers. Some of their later works, like Generation 13, Steel Umbrellas, and Pleasure And The Pain looked just awful. With Full Circle, Saga are back to basics with a great cover painting. This time by Fabian Kraus.

But I do think the layout could have been better. I think this album would have looked even better if the whole painting had been shown instead of it being limited by the black border. I also think that the sharp red colour of the logotype takes away some attention from the painting. It would have been better to use a colour from the artwork on the logo, like on Images At Twilight.

The booklet is a very sad chapter. It's one of those terrible fold-outs, just like Generation 13. On one side you find the lyrics and on the other a poster of the Kraus painting.

With some small changes on the cover and a better booklet, this could have been one of the best looking albums of the year.