posted November 22, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com
For the past 10 years, the contributors to the Album Cover Hall of Fame have worked to recognize and promote the talents of the people who’ve brought music fans and art collectors (and those of us that appreciate both activities) the best in retail and online music packaging, design, graphics and photography.
Helped each year by asking a panel of curators, gallerists, music marketing execs and writers/researchers who cover the topic to register their opinions, I’ve been able to deliver these details to my readers and, once a year in November, present the top vote-getters in our annual poll as inductees into the hallowed (virtual) halls of the ACHOF. What I haven’t been able to do until now is ask this site’s visitors and fans about their favorite album art-makers, and so to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first class of inductees into the ACHOF, I asked you all to participate in a poll that would serve to track and the report on your feelings about who of our past inductees deserved special commendation.
This year’s poll allowed you to look over the past winners in each of the active award categories and then asked you to select those who are your most-admired art directors, illustrators, designers and photographers, with the top vote-getters placed in special categories that will be called…well, what will we call them? We don’t want to call them “the best”, nor do we want to repurpose some of the popular names that the awards industry has used over time – “People’s Choice”, “Fan Favorites”, “Vox Populi”, “Diamond/Platinum/Gold Medal Winning”, etc. A quick trip to the thesaurus presents words and phrases like “title holder”, “prize winner” and “top dog”, among others, along with some that I think are a bit over the top, such as “conquering hero”, “vanquisher” and “numero uno”, so while I know that it had to have been something memorable and appropriate, I don’t think we’re quite ready to commit to anything beyond “Top Vote-Getters”.
This Featured Fan Collection comes to the ACHOF from Rob Smeaton, partner in the U.K.’s Hypergallery (www.hypergallery.com) . Hypergallery is based in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England and, according to their web site, aims to “celebrate seven decades of fantastic sleeve design and promote the growing renown for album cover art.” As both a gallery and a print publisher, Rob and his team look to give record sleeve artists the opportunity and freedom to re-explore their original artwork, producing beautiful new prints that give art lovers the chance to build a collection of artworks and collectables from a unique genre.
I met Rob during a visit of his to Portland a couple of years back and found that he and I also both shared a background in multi-media production and technology. In fact, Rob is also Managing Director of a company called Signals, Ltd., which, since 1991 has helped its clients with excellent work on a wide variety of web and digital media project assignments. After meeting him (and, happily, selling him a print for his own collection!), I knew that he’d be able to impress album cover art fans with a tour through his collection and, based on what I received from him, he has come through with a splendid selection. And so, without further delay, let’s turn things over to Rob – enjoy the journey!