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.
Dave Brubeck:Time Out. Columbia Records. Art and design 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
See the whole interview here
And here's a taste of Steinweiss:
Addendum: March 10, 2010
1940 Alex Steinweiss design for Columbia Records. Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines
Here's a fascinating review of Neil Fujita's 1968 book, Aim For a Job in Graphic Design. Review in Designobserver.com.
S. Neil Fujita, Aim For A Job In Graphic Design, Cover. 1968, Richard Rosen Press