We listen to Dave Brubeck a lot at PSAW. Today he turns 89 and is receiving a Kennedy Center Award. Fabulous.
And because great music and great design go better together, let's not forget the wonderful Brubeck album covers by Neil Fujita.
Brubeck plays Brubeck. Design by Neil Fujita
Here's a bit of an interview with Fujita, discussing legendary album designer Alex Steinweiss and the beginning of music album design.
"When I got to Columbia, Alex was at RCA, I believe. We met for lunch several times and would speak. The relationship was a friendly one, but I don’t think we talked a lot about design. There were a lot of changes going on in the business and we were both searching for our own answers. I would travel across the country speaking to record sellers. I would ask them how they sold records because I felt that we needed a new approach. In those days, clerks would spend a lot more time actually selling records to customers. We thought about how we could use images or pictures in a more creative way. We thought about what the picture was saying about the music and how we could use that to sell the record. And abstract art was getting popular so we used a lot more abstraction in the designs—with jazz records especially but also with classical when there was a way for it to fit, like with the more modern composers."
See the whole interview here
And here's a taste of Steinweiss:Addendum: March 10, 2010
Here's a fascinating review of Neil Fujita's 1968 book, Aim For a Job in Graphic Design. Review in Designobserver.com.