Inventor of the modern album cover

Via Cool Hunting, a new Taschen book celebrates the designer who revolutionized music packaging, Alex Steinweiss. In 1940, at 23, Steinweiss proposed using original artwork instead of kraft paper for Columbia’s “albums” of 78rpm records. Sales increased 800%.

With the advent of the 33rpm LP format, he invented the “album” sleeve that came to be the industry standard. But it is his iconic cover art for Columbia, Columbia Masterworks, Okeh, Decca Records (among others) that made Alex Steinweiss “the man who made music for your eyes.” His signature style was modern and playful, with geometric shapes and many type influences, including his own curly hand-drawn type (“the Steinweiss Scrawl”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you don’t have $500 for a signed copy, look inside the Taschen book Alex Steinweiss, Inventor of the Modern Album Cover.

AIGA biography and slide show.

Interesting history of Remington Records’ design, under the direction of Alex Steinweiss from its launch in 1952.

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