Album covers are a perfect example of design within constraints: some names, a fixed canvas, a few typefaces to choose from, sometimes a photograph. Blue Note Records has been around since 1939, and their classic covers are absolute masterpieces.
Reid Miles was the art director for Blue Note Records in the 50’s and 60’s and designed hundreds of album covers. Many featured the photography of Francis Wolff, one of the owners of the record label.
It’s a trip to look through the catalog and see how many of the classic albums were designed by Reid Miles. They are as cool and interesting as the music, and an inseparable part of the experience.
For more, see the Birka Jazz Archive, Hard Format, Vintage Vanguard, and this interesting article on Reid Miles by Alexander Ross Charchar.