Over the years, there have been a number of books and articles written on the History of the Album Cover, covering the development of the art form from its humble beginnings as a simple sleeve with a title, to Alex Steinweiss and Jim Flora and their breakthrough works for Columbia and Decca Records in the 1930s/40s up to today’s most-recent efforts – and so if you’re interested in learning more on the topic (or just looking at the pictures), here are two lists.
The first is a sample list of some books published on the subject. Many are written and compiled by well-known cover designers (Roger Dean, Richard Evans, Storm Thorgerson, Nick DeVille, Spencer Drate, others), so they bring an interesting spin to their respective compilations. With their authors’ various perspectives and experiences guiding their respective efforts, all are interesting in their own right and contain hundreds of images for you to enjoy.
The second is a list of links to well-curated websites covering a number of album cover-related topics, including album art search engines, album cover design, album cover artists, etc.
Books about Album Covers -
A Brief History of Album Covers, by Jason Draper.
Published in 2008 by Flame Tree Publishing, U.K. ISBN-13: 978-1847862112
Album, by Nick de Ville. Published in the U.K. in 2003 by Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 1845331303
100 Best Album Covers, by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell. Published in 1999 by DK Publishing. ISBN 0-7894-4951-X
Album Cover Album, by Storm Thorgerson and Roger Dean. Latest edition published in 2008 by Collins Design/Harper Collins Publishers, New York. ISBN 978-0-06-162695-1
The Album Cover Art of Punk, by Burkhardt Seiler and Malcolm McClaren. Published in 1999 by Gingko Press Ltd., UK. ISBN 978-3927258617
The Art of the Album Cover - by Richard Evans. Published in 2010 by Chartwell Books, Inc., U.K. ISBN-13: 978-0785826774
The Art of the LP – Classic Album Covers 1955 – 1995, by Ben Wardle and Johnny Morgan. Published in 2010 by Sterling Publishing Co., New York. ISBN 978-1-4027-7113-2
The Art of Punk: The Illustrated History of Punk Rock Design, by Russ Bestley and Alex Ogg. Published in 2012 by Voyageur Press, MN, USA. ISBN 978-0760344101
The Book of Hip Hop Cover Art, by Andrew Emery. Published in the U.K. in 2004 by Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 1840009195
CD Art, by Charlotte Rivers. Published in 2004 by RotoVision, SA (Mies, Switzerland). ISBN 2-88046-745-4
Classic Album Covers of the 60′s, by Storm Thorgerson. Re-issued edition published in 2009 by Collins & Brown. ISBN-13 978-1843405498
Classic Album Covers of the 70′s, by Aubrey Powell. Published in 2012 by Collins & Brown. ISBN 978-1843406778
Classic Rock Covers, by Michael Ochs. Published in 2001 by Taschen GmbH (Cologne, Germany). ISBN 3-8228-5540-5
Cover Art By: New Music Graphics, by Adrian Shaughnessy. Published in 2008 by Laurence King Publishing (London, UK). ISBN 978 1 85669 527 5
Dead Children Playing, by Stanley Donwood and Dr. Tchock (AKA Thom Yorke). Published in 2007 by Verso Books (UK & US). ISBN 13:978 1 84467 170 0
DEFINITION – The Art and Design of Hip-Hop, by Cey Adams with Bill Adler. Published in 2008 by Collins Design/Harper Collings Publishers, NY. ISBN 978-0-06-143885-1
The Greatest Album Covers of All Time, by Barry Miles, Grant Scott and Johnny Morgan. Published in the U.K. in 2005 by Collins & Brown/Chrysalis Books. ISBN 1843403013
In Search of the Lost Record, by MATSUI Takumi. Published in 2001 by Graphic-sha Publishing Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) ISBN 4-7661-1268-7
1000 Record Covers, by Michael Ochs. Published in 2001 by Taschen GmbH (Cologne, Germany). ISBN 3-8228-1623-X
Metal & Hardcore Graphics, by Cristian Campos. Published in 2011 by Advanced Marketing s De Rl De Cv (in Spanish, English & other languages). ISBN 978-8499367736
Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute, by Matthew Chojnacki. Published in the U.S. in 2011 by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0764338311
Radical Album Cover Art Sampler 3, by Intro (Adrian Shaughnessy and Julian House). Published in 2003 in the U.K. by Laurence King Publishing, Ltd. and in North America by Harper Design International. ISBN 1-85669-352-X
Reasons to be Cheerful - The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles, by Paul Gorman. Published in 2008 by Adelita, Ltd. (UK). ISBN 978-0955201738
Rock Art, by Spencer Drate. Published in 1993 by PBC International, NY. ISBN 0-86636-183-9
This Ain’t No Disco, by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz. Published in 2005 by Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4542-7
The Ultimate Album Cover Album, by Roger Dean, David Howells and Storm Thorgerson. Published in 1987 by Prentice Hall Press. ISBN 0-13-935750-5 (Note – there are 3 books in this Album Cover Album series – all contain a wealth of info on various collections of album cover designs).
Links to Album Cover-related web sites (various subjects) -
Album Cover Search Engines:
www.albumart.org/ – Find your CD or DVD cover fast with this search engine. Searches through millions of covers instantly. Also featuring videos, music and unique lyrics
www.albumartexchange.com/ – High Quality Album & CD Artwork. Dedicated to collecting and sharing meticulously scanned and edited album cover art, with editorial and polls updated regularly.
www.coverhunt.com/ – Find CD covers for your favourite artists, albums and songs. Large images ready for iTunes, iPod. Easy simple searching, free to use.
Album Cover Artists – General Information Sites:
The Album Cover Art Gallery – www.tralfaz-archives.com/coverart/coverart.html A site curated by photographer M. Schott and based on his enormous personal album collection. The intent is to share the wealth of diverse art gracing the covers of vinyl records, CDs, etc.
www.albumcoverartists.com/ A gallery of album covers by artists such as Mati Klarwein, Roger Dean, David Stone Martin, Burt Goldblatt, Peter Max, Andy Warhol and Jack Davis.
www.lpcoverlover.com/ Record collectors Matthew and Tony have put together a site dedicated to ”the weird and wonderful world of record covers from the golden age of LPs…”
Curated by “Monocle” – this is an extensive guide to RYMer lists showcasing illustrators, painters, and designers of album art. Sorted alphabetically by the cover artist’s last name.
www.sleevage.com/ Sleevage: “The world’s best album cover design blog. Showcasing interesting album covers from the past and present. Updated daily with details..” Combines a search engine with in-depth editorial coverage.
http://browse.deviantart.com/designs/cdcovers/ Deviant Art is a site dedicated to design of all types – in addition to this collection of info on CD Cover design, the site also includes sections on DVD Covers, Logos & Logotypes and other forms of packaging.
About.com › Industry Careers › Music Career Profiles http://musicians.about.com/od/musiccareerprofiles/p/artworkdesigner.htm
If you want to find work as a freelance album cover designer, this site will provide you with some good, basic information on the topic.
This list will be updated on the ACHOF site regularly, so please visit often.