Back in the day, when Jazz music was at its most popular, the cover artwork really "digged that crazy groove" as much as the music itself did...
“From the late 40s through to the late 60s, jazz went through incredible developments. Running parallel to this was another cutting-edge adventure in modernism – the jazz album cover design.
The best of these album covers could be seen to do in design what jazz was doing in music: pushing head-first into new territory, in the spirit of the Modernist era. The graphic designers took the world of jazz, and looked at it through the prisms of 20th Century Modern Art, Bauhaus, Constructivism, Cubism etc.
The most significant of the graphic artists was Reid Miles, who designed many Blue Note label album covers from 1956-67. Often working with the limitations of black plus one other colour, sans-serif typefaces and a B&W photo, he played a big part in developing a visual vocabulary featuring colour transparencies on B&W images, clusters of text, spaces of white, and the cropping and framing of photographs. He is surely by now regarded as one of the most important graphic designers of the 20th Century. Of the selection here, most of the ones on the ‘Blue Note’ label are his.
In selecting this set of covers, the emphasis was on highlighting some brilliant designs from obscure or long out-of-print records, plus throwing in a few all-time greats to let you know how good they got.
The majority of these are from 1954-1960, with a few either side of that timespan between 1953-1967.”
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