Before the 1930s, album covers were typically made of a simple paperboard or leather cover. These covers were adorned with the recording artist’s name and occasionally the title of the musical work on the record. Then, in 1938, Columbia Records hired Alex Steinweiss as its first art director. He is credited with inventing the concept of album cover art. Steinweiss began to provide a visual interpretation of the record music by designing and producing art for their sleeves. The new medium of cover art gave musicians another way to engage with their audiences, and we are forever grateful.
The album cover has developed into a canvas of expression. Cover art enables all musicians to develop an image, a style, and a persona that sets them apart from the rest. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous album covers over the years.
The Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
The Rolling Stones, “Sticky Fingers”
Pink Floyd, “The Dark Side of the Moon”
Led Zeppelin, “Led Zeppelin”
Any suggestions for our Cover Art board on Pinterest? Share your favorite album cover art!