Announcing the 2020 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame
November 20th, 2020
Here’s the latest class of honorees in the 6 major categories as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging. This list represents the “who’s who” of creative and production talent, including many recognized names of craftspeople working in the worlds of fine art, graphic design and photography.
Since officially launching the site in 2012, we’ve previously enshrined eight classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys, with the voting panel considering the creative output of all producers active any time since 1960. Dozens of additional biographies were added for consideration by the esteemed panel of writers, curators of galleries (retail and online) that focus on album cover imagery, art/design museum curators and music marketing experts.
Continuing on via our standard methodology, this year’s Class allowed for the consideration of any talent not previously inducted into the ACHOF six major categories. The people under consideration this year are people who BEGAN their careers in the field at any time during the period the ACHOF focuses its attention on (1960 – present). As you can figure, this was a very long list, but after a research, nominating and voting process that began in September and ended in mid-November with our final vote (with all voting done online to keep the Voting Panel safe and healthy), the ACHOF voters have selected a list of individuals and companies that very clearly represent the best examples of a large number of talented men, women and teams who’ve cumulatively created and published a huge portfolio of memorable album cover images and record packages.
I’d like to comment on this year’s efforts – Through the ongoing efforts of those who support of this Hall of Fame, we’re able to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact in the ongoing development and advancement of rock and roll album cover-related art direction, illustration, photography and package design, along with the record labels and musical acts who’ve supported great work in the field. Based on each inductee’s body of work in the field, we feel that their talents have exemplified the best possible efforts made to package and promote their clients’ recorded music, and so we’re privileged to have been able to include them in this year’s poll and, ultimately, our lists of honorees.
I’d also like to note that this year’s voting showcases the great range of package and promo designs for musical acts popular in the many rock and pop music genres we focus our attentions on, showing fans that album cover imagery continues to be an important part of the relationship between musical acts and their buying/listening public of all ages and musical tastes. I’m happy to say that, while many considered the album cover merely a relic of the music industry as it existed before its shift into the digital arena, the commitment shown by musical acts and their labels to continue to invest in the visual aspects of their products – vinyl records, web sites, merchandise, etc. – and to work hard to impress fans with the totality of their creative output is a true testament to the importance of this aspect of the recorded music business.
Inductees have been divided into their respective categories so that fans can get to know each winner individually and within their group of peers. Below, you’ll find a summary of the winners in each category:
Album Cover Photographer Inductees
Drew Carolan, Eric Meola, Stephen Paley, Mark Seliger and Mark Weiss
Album Cover Illustrator Inductees
(inc. those specializing in logos and typography)
Stefan G. Bucher, Nic Dartnell, Boyd Elder, Jann Hawworth and Raymond Pettibon
Album Cover Designer Inductees
Susan Archie, Tracy Maurice, Mike Salisbury, Hugh Syme and Ed Thrasher
Album Cover Art Director Inductees
Ron Coro, Rod Dyer, Bill Levy, Vaughan Oliver and Winston Smith
Inducted Record Labels with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery
The Vinyl Factory and Smithsonian Folkways
Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery
The Clash, The Decemberists and Cat Stevens/Yusuf
A more-detailed document that includes samples of each Inductees album cover credits, along with links to their respective web sites, can be found on the ACHOF site at
Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 10 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image. Please note that some names will be seen in more than one category, as it is that certain individuals serve in more than one role in a project.
Going forward, the ACHOF will continue the yearly voting process (with next year being our 10th anniversary) beginning again in late Summer 2021 to nominate the next class of Inductees representing those whose works were published any time during the period of 1960 – present) by selecting nominees in each of the featured categories for consideration by our voters and those nominees that receive the most total votes in their respective categories will be inducted. We’re strongly considering the possibility of opening aspects of next year’s voting to the public – we’ll notify fans and the press once any decisions have been made regarding this effort.
In the meantime, let’s congratulate this year’s Inductees for jobs well done. Let’s hope that next year’s announcement comes at a time where we find the world in a much better place!
To see a list of all of the current inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame, please visit – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-inductee-list-main-page/
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Ken – thanks for your note – very happy to see the talented Ms. Haworth included in this year’s class of inductees. Stay tuned soon for an interview with her about all things album cover-related. MG
Congrats to Jann Haworth for her work on “Sgt. Pepper.” Not only was it her idea to integrate the title and Beatle’s name into the drumhead and flowerbed, but she was also was responsible for the idea to construct the crowd in 3-D using photo cutouts (just like sports teams are doing during Covid), color tinting the cutouts, and hand-building the set of over 70 personalities, famous and imagined. Thanks Jann for giving us a memorable image and changing how we think about album covers.