Several months ago, I gathered a bunch of examples of coded messages hidden in liner notes. Presuming that such passing involvement qualified me to identify examples of such, I was positive that the hideous coverart for Coldplay’s latest album contained a coded message – there was simply no other possible explanation for a cover that bad.

     Turns out I was right – Coldplay fans recently ‘cracked’ the meaning of the colored mess.

     The coded message is “loosely based on a binary code known as ‘Baudot’, which generates a base5 binary representations for each letter or character in the western alphabet.” The Wikipedia entry for Baudot Code is here.

     I found it interesting that the color plays absolutely no role in the code whatsoever – the code would have the same meaning if it had been printed in black and white. This fact implies that tappingofton – the designers responsible for the cover, thought that the color made it look better. Hm.

     Once decoded, the actual content of the message isn’t terribly exciting:

     “What is rather strange though is that … this code actually depicts ‘X-Y’ based on the General version of Baudot’s code (there was no & in the original version) and ‘X9Y’ in the new amended versions of the code.

     UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that the key to this code is included in the actual CD booklet (LAME). I’m also told that there is an additional coded message on the back which (predictably) reads: “Make trade fair.” Meh.

     If this sort of nerdery interests you and you missed it the first time around, here’s a link to my previous collection of coded covers.