In hindsight, learning that the cover for David Bowie's final album Blackstar () was a visual allusion to mortality isn't terribly surprising.

In a lengthy interview with Dezeen, the album's art designer Jonathan Barnbrook elaborates on his vision, saying, "[Bowie] understood the value of the image on a record cover, when other people had forgotten about it."

"This was a man who was facing his own mortality," Barnbrook says. "The Blackstar symbol [★], rather than writing 'Blackstar', has as a sort of finality, a darkness, a simplicity, which is a representation of the music."

"It's subsided a bit now, but a lot of people said it was a bullshit cover when it came out, that it took five minutes to design," he continues. "But I think there is a misunderstanding about the simplicity."

Barnbrook illuminates on his vision, which started from abstract designs back when he crafted the cover for Bowie's 2013 album The Next Day. "The idea of mortality is in there, and of course the idea of a black hole sucking in everything, the Big Bang, the start of the universe, if there is an end of the universe," Barnbrook said. "These are things that relate to mortality."

Read up on Barnbook's work and his lengthy relationship with the recently past music legend via Dezeen and grab Bowie's final album today on iTunes and Amazon.