Monday, 31 January 2011

Album Artwork

Album artwork has developed since it was first used on vinyl sleeves. Columbia Records were one of the first to use album art with their artist and in 1938 they hired their first Art Director, Alex Steinweiss. Alex Steinweiss is credited with inventing the concept of album covers, and album art. After his initial efforts at Columbia, other record companies followed his lead. By the late 1940s, record albums for all the major companies featured their own colorful paper covers in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. Some featured reproductions of classic art while others utilized original designs. 

Artists began to use their album covers to make a statement of intent, either about their album or their artists themselves. Notable examples include; The Beatles'  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. 

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

The Beatles- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Album artwork was originally used on vinyl sleeves and since then the way we listened to music has changed vastly. The two main types of hardware now used to listen to music now are CDs and portable devices. So to adapt to the new formats, album art has been digitized. This enables album art to be displayed and sold with the digital download, through  the likes of iTunes and the iTunes store. In an increasingly competitive industry album artwork needs to catch the attention of the consumer, as this could be the difference between the consumer purchasing or not purchasing the album. For this reason I am going to HMV to look at the the shelves to see what albums stand out. 

1 comment:

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