What’s the Point of Album Covers in the Post-Album Era?

What’s the Point of Album Covers in the Post-Album Era?

In the digital streaming era, where albums are data sets filling playlists and our primary interaction with music comes via a screen, what has become of album cover art?

In the LP era, album art was a crucial component of marketing and aesthetic identity. There was enough space to be striking, and a big enough canvas to let eccentricity reign. The CD era shrunk the size down, but still emphasized the importance of a visual hallmark, requiring designers to make a big statement in a smaller space.

Now, the album “cover” is often just a tiny square on a screen. Occasionally it’s not even an image at all. On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about recent trends in album art, from logo size to photo resolution, and a look back at some iconic album art designers of generations past.

On the Popcast:

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