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Deliciousness #2 – Blue Note Jazz Albums

A great passion of mine (and what led me into design) is the art of the album cover. In my opinion many of the greatest album covers come from the collections of Blue Note Jazz. A large number (over 1000) of these covers have been collected on Pixagogo.

Home to jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly and Thelonious Monk, Blue Note has been releasing phenomonal jazz albums for seventy years. While constantly setting the bar for music, the albums also became canvases for some of the greatest artwork associated with music. Combining great photography with even better typography, the covers have become just as iconic as the artists and music they represent.

Cannonball Adderly’s Somethin’ Else is a great example of how powerful typography can be in and of itself. The river created by the names of the supporting artists breaks up the block of justified type just enough to add visual interest, but not distract from the hierarchy of the design.

A recurring theme in Blue Note covers is the marriage of monochromatic photography and strong typography, as shown in this Sonny Rollins cover. Another common style is typography set to fit into the photography, as in Joe Henderson’s Page One and the Ornette Coleman Trio’s Golden Circle.

I urge anyone interested in design, jazz or album covers to take some time to flip through this amazing set of images.

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