Note by 2020 me: It was nice to have been a very small part of this book. It was fun to do and makes me smile when I think about it.

I’m sure most of you are aware of the Sleeveface phenomena.

What started out as a joke behind the decks of a DJ gig has gone on to be one of the biggest internet crazes of the year. Admittedly calling it an ‘internet craze’ makes it sound like a pile of hyped up rubbish… but this craze has the right ingredients to be awesome.

  • Humour – check
  • Vinyl geekery – check
  • Photography geekery with Flickr support – double check
  • Fun times – check

Like most of the best ideas, Sleevefacing is incredibly simple. Take a 12″ sleeve from a piece of vinyl that has a big face on it. Hold that sleeve in front of your own real face. Get someone to take a photo of it so it looks like that vinyl sleeve face is yours in an amusing and surreal fashion.

The very first Sleevface in the Flickr Sleeveface group (uploaded January 18 2008 by co-founder John Rostron) perfectly demonstrates the basics of Sleevefacing in it’s purest form.

From there the bar was constantly raised as the Internet took the basic techniques and gradually perfected the art of Sleevefacing. New inventive holds were introduced, better camera work, extra helpers, props, costumes, scenery and – most of all – a perfection of the lining up of body parts all resulted in some incredibly funny and interesting images.


Never one to miss a good bandwagon when I see one, I jumped on the Sleeveface one sharpish. With help from the good lady wife and my lil sis.

Despite having a reasonable haul of vinyl from my DJing youth we found it incredibly hard to find good Sleevefacing material. It seems that minimal techno, happy hardcore and house records do not present a rich seem of Sleeveface gold.

Thankfully my happy days of charity shop digging did help us pull out a few we could do something with.


The most obvious one was Suzanne Vega’s Solitude Standing…

After a lot of failed attempts it ended up with me behind the sleeve becoming Miss Vega. Note the subtle addition of a black sock on my right hand to mimic the gloves.

It turned out very nicely. The shoulder matching is spot on, and the happy accident of the background colours matching our wall adds very nicely to the overall image!

Body Rocking

This one was a bit different, what with it being a floating skull and all!

This one wasn’t so technically difficult, but was certainly fun. All it required was a jaunty Fonz style double thumbs up! (And a natty Threadless tee)

I remember there being much laughter during the process!

Less than a year later

I uploaded our efforts on February 4 2008.

In just less than twelve months there are now over 2,500 Sleevefaces in the Flickr group. There is the official website. There are links and articles from all the many dark corners of the worlds media… and now there is an official Sleeveface book.

The book contains 192 full colour pages of over 200 different Sleevefaces.

On page 16 (I think) you will find a really good one…