Album cover design has over 50 years of history and, despite several format changes (78 to LP to cassette to CD), many things have stayed the same. Cover design projects bring together two artists, the designer and the musician. They offer the opportunity to create a visual to represent a non-visual art.
As one of the designers put it, “There is something about the fetishistic pleasure of holding a designed object in one’s hand and, until that experience can be replicated, the perceived value of the music will not be the same. When I was very young, I had a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory kit. Basically you melted down some chocolate bits, poured the chocolate into variously-shaped molds, and wrapped the bars in Willy Wonka labels. All the kids wanted the ‘packaged,’ ‘designed’ chocolate bars—no one wanted the plain chocolate, even though the contents were the same.”