Alex Steinweiss: Father of the album cover

Having been reminded of Alex Steiweiss by the new Taschen book in his honor. I decided to start some visual research on his work. Along the way I rediscovered so many more great artists and illustrators this will be the first in a series of ongoing posts on the subject of album cover illustration.

Before Alex Steiweiss invented the album cover in 1938, at the age of 23, all albums came in plain brown wrappers. Steinweiss’s idea to create a package that had something visual on the outside to lure the consumer was a huge success. That simple idea revolutionized the record business and spawned an entire new field of illustration—album cover art—that is now inseparable from the product it announces.

First up is the cover of the new book

There’s also a great little preview of the book on Taschen’s site

In starting the research I also found there was a typeface made of his legendary scrawl from VEER

Here are many more assorted covers he’s done, many of which are available on ETSY

According to Mr Heller, his design was the influence for this

Many thanks to Swiss Legacy for getting me started on this