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Album Cover Art

Anyone who has not been under a rock for the last hundred years, should be familiar with album cover art. It is the visual cue for music, and it often helps artists and bands to develop their visual brand, as well as to assist them in selling merchandise. In 1909, Tchaikovsky released the first album with a specifically designed package. Other record companies, however, did not catch on for many years. Finally, in 1938, Columbia Records hired their first art director. Alex Steinweiss, their director, is credited with creating the concept of album cover art. Soon other record companies followed. Now album cover art plays an important role in creating an album. The cover art serves an important role in marketing of the music as well as expressing the music on the album. One huge impact album covers can have is the ability to build a public image of the artists. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan are among the first to include photographs of themselves. Album covers can facilitate a medium where the public often shows interest in art and its meaning.


  1. Tim Kuo wrote:

    Great points made here. I think there still a need for album cover art even though the music generation is going mostly digital now. We still see album cover art on music apps like Spotify and Pandora but it is not the same comparing to holding the actual cd case or vinyl record in your hands. Maybe I’m just too old school.

    Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  2. Kevin Vincent wrote:

    I really like all the points that are made in this blog post..I agree that album art gives the artist more publicity in getting their name out there.

    Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  3. Emily Anderson wrote:

    This is a good, succinct post about album cover art. Good choice on including classic album covers as your visual.

    Friday, April 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink