“Alex Steinweiss is credited with singlehandedly creating the format, design and graphic ‘language’ of the album cover.”
Alex Steinweiss. The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover
Hardcover, 5.5 x 7.7 in., 2.93 lb, 552 pages
Record collectors and graphic designers rejoice! With this fresh, affordable edition of Alex Steinweiss’s genius cover art, discover the bold typography and illustration that revolutionized the way music was consumed. This book includes personal recollections of the father of album covers, ephemera from his epic career, and insightful essays.
Music for the Eyes
The inventor of album art“I love music so much and I had such ambition that I was willing to go way beyond what the hell they paid me for. I wanted people to look at the artwork and hear the music.” —Alex Steinweiss
Alex Steinweiss (1917–2011) invented the album cover as we know it. 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 percent.
Over the next three decades, Steinweiss made thousands of original artworks for classical, jazz, and popular record covers for Columbia, Decca, London, and Everest; as well as logos, labels, advertising material, even his own typeface, the Steinweiss Scrawl. His daring designs, gathered here in all their bright combinations of bold typography with modern, elegant illustration, revolutionized the way music was sold.
The book includes Steinweiss’s personal recollections and ephemera from an epic career, as well as insightful essays by three-time Grammy Award–winning art director/designer Kevin Reagan and graphic design historian Steven Heller.