Alex Steinweiss, Inventor of the Modern Album Cover

During my time at TASCHEN I teamed with US art directors and managing editors in creating beautify designed coffee table books covering, art, music, historical erotica and pop culture. While freelancing in and out of the office I designed layouts, conceived color schemes and created typographic solutions for numerous tomes. I also worked closely with the production team in collecting the assets used in layout for many of the projects.

Alex Steinweiss invented the album cover as we know it, and created a new graphic art form. 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 its 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.

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