Tag Archives: graphic arts

Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News for January 14th, 2022

posted 1/14/22 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame

a) The long-promised first “episode” of the tour through the “Art On My Sleeves” exhibition is now up and available for viewing at your leisure. The focus of this article is on the covers featured in the section titled “All Nerve”, which shows a good number of examples of great graphic design produced over the past 50+ years and includes works by both very well-known designers/studios (George Hardie, Hipgnosis, Barney Bubbles, Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg of v23, etc) and some perhaps lesser-known talents whose work nonetheless is memorable and eye-catching. There’s a lot to see and learn, so why not just click on over to https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2022/01/14/achof-presents-the-art-on-my-sleeves-series-episode-1-all-nerve-album-cover-graphic-design/ to begin your journey?

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ACHOF presents the Art on My Sleeves series – Episode 1 – All Nerve: Album Cover Graphic Design

All Nerve Record Cover Collage by Jules Seamer

Posted January 14th, 2022, with an update posted January 18th, 2022

Highlights from the original exhibition curated by Jules Seamer, with text edited/updated by the Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Mike Goldstein

#1 in the Art on My Sleeves series – All Nerve: Album Cover Graphic Design – In addition to the musical and business aspirations that have inspired individuals and record labels to produce packaged music products for sale to fans worldwide, the album cover art projects associated with these records have benefitted over the years from the talents of the people who’ve worked on them, the tools they had available to create “just the right” cover image and the dynamics of what constituted “Popular Culture” at the time they were created.

The use of Graphic Design – or “Commercial Art”, as it was once called – on album covers was brought about due to the successful efforts of several early pioneers, the most notable being commercial artists including Alex Steinweiss who, in 1938, became the first art director for Columbia Records and, in 1940, Introduced first individually-designed record cover (Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart) and went on to pioneer cardboard sleeve-based packaging for 33-1/3 RPM LPs in 1948. He was joined at Columbia by Jim Flora and Robert M. “Bob” Jones in the mid-1940s (followed by Saul Bass, S. Neil Fujita and Bob Cato) while, over at the jazz labels Verve, Blue Note and others, talented artists including David Stone Martin, Reid Miles and Andy Warhol produced covers that brought them fame thanks to their iconic design work. Whether helping to shape the vision of a label, as Barney Bubbles did at Stiff, Vaughan Oliver did at 4AD or Peter Saville crafted for Factory or establishing a style that became synonymous with the bands they had as clients (like Hipgnosis for Pink Floyd or Jamie Reid for the Sex Pistols), album cover graphic designers were deservedly hailed for creating mini-masterpieces that made an art form out of the album cover.

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Musicians Who Also Designed Album Covers – A List for Fans of Music and Art

Musicians that also design Album Covers – A Comprehensive List for Fans of Music and Art

by Mike Goldstein, curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

originally posted March 15, 2013

There are many examples of musical artists who are also accomplished visual artists, displaying great talent in the fields of painting, illustration, photography, sculpture and product design. Scholars of rock musicians know that a number of well-known musical acts were founded by art students that met each other while attending art school. Examples include Pink Floyd (Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright all went to London’s Polytechnic College on Regent Street, while Syd Barrett studied at Camberwell), Talking Heads (David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz all attended the Rhode Island School of Design), Devo (Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale studied at Kent State) and The Clash (Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon and Mick Jones). Other well-known musicians who studied art include Queen’s Freddie Mercury (who attended both Isleworth Polytechnic and Ealing College and who went on to design the famous “Queen Crest”), Eric Clapton (Kingston College of Art), Pete Townshend (another Ealing alumnus), Brian Eno (Winchester Art School), R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe (a U. of Georgia art major), Ray Davies of The Kinks (Hornsey College of Art in London ), Keith Richards (London’s Sidcup Art College) and Ron Wood (Ealing again) of The Rolling Stones and John Lennon (Liverpool College of Art). After studying art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne under the tutelage of Richard Hamilton, Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry had a career as high school art instructor – specializing in ceramics and pottery – prior to forming the band in late 1970.

Whatever their motivations (Mick Jones of The Clash is quoted as saying that, although he felt that he had no real artistic talent, he went to art school to form a band as many of his musical influences – Lennon, Richards, Townshend, etc. – had gone to art school and then formed bands soon after), it is clear that right-brained, multi-talented individuals seem to have had an important influence on the development of both the aural and visual aspects of the pop music business.

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