The optical illusion on the band’s album cover shows a hidden message – and continues to baffle fans after nearly two decades

The OPTICAL illusion album cover has been bending the minds of music lovers for decades.

At first glance, the cover of Soulwax’s 2005 album NY Excuse looks like a monochrome grid.


Soulwax’s NY Excuse album cover has been turning heads since its 2005 release1 credit

If you step back and look at it a little further, you might see both the artist name and the album in the top right corner.

Viewers have enjoyed this headache-inducing illusion for 17 years, especially the difference between physical and digital media, creative block reported.

The only option when trying to read the hidden words in the grid of a vinyl cover is to walk away from it.

But to view it on a screen, you just need to zoom out.

You might even be able to see it immediately through the small thumbnail.

Questions have been raised about how this illusion was achieved.

“White squares inside text boxes are smaller than those outside, so black lines are thicker.” Reddit user Kraenerlus suggested.

Another user agreed with this idea.

“I achieved this by making 2 different halftone sizes and then just masking one over the other (using the type as a mask),” user KingKopaTroopa wrote.

Optical illusions catch eyes and freeze brains until the viewer can figure out what’s going on.

The use of illusions for album covers is nothing new.

Paula Scher’s design for the 1970s band Boston with upside-down UFO guitars recently had the internet talking and wondering how they missed it for so long.

Similarly in 2009, the psychedelic rock band black lips released their 200 Million Thousand album with a cover similar to Soulwax.

But instead of the album title and artists, a face is hidden between the lines.

About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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