See the music

See the music

Alex Stenweiss invented the album cover as we know it to create a new art form:

I love music so much and I had such ambition that I was willing to go way beyond what the hell they paid me for. I wanted people to look at the artwork and hear the music.”


In 1940, as Columbia Records’ young new art director, he pitched an idea: Why not replace the standard plain brown wrapper with an eye-catching illustration? The company took a chance, and within months record sales increased by over 800 per cent. His covers for Columbia — combining bold typography with modern, elegant illustrations — took the industry by storm and revolutionized the way records were sold. …. He launched the golden age of album cover design and influenced generations of designers to follow.

His new book, Alex Steinweiss: Inventor of the Modern Album Cover, was recently honored.

[Image: Alex Steinweiss Bartok, Concerto 3]