Art Direction, Packaging, Graphic Design
It's one of those days again – when music is our only friend.
German record company Odeon pioneered the "album" in 1909 when it released the "Nutcracker Suite" by Tchaikovsky on four double-sided discs in a specially designed package.
Starting in the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums. These albums could include either a collection of popular songs, on several 78 rpm records, related either by performer or style, or extended length classical music, also on several 78 rpm records, including complete symphonies.
In 1938, Columbia records hired Alex Steinweiss as its first art director. He is credited with inventing the concept of album covers and cover art, replacing plain covers used before. After his initial efforts at Columbia, other record companies followed his lead. By the late 1940s, record albums for all the major companies featured their own colorful paper covers in both 10-inch and 12-inch sizes. Some featured reproductions of classic art while others utilized original designs.