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PRIVATE33 049This one powerful image from one powerful designer, a man unknown to the design community at large, but not forgotten by a few aficionados.

George Giusti (1909-1990) the designer of this LP record from which this image was taken was inducted to the Art Directors Club of Fame in 1979, and shares company of Milton Glaser, Ladislas Sutnar, Willem Sandberg and other designers.

Guisti, a recipient of numerous design awards, to him art was art, no matter what kind of art it was. He is still best know as a graphic designer, but was an accomplished sculptor whose pieces were used in advertising photographs. He was influenced by the Swiss School of Abstraction. Born and raised in Milan, Italy, he studied at the Brera Academy, and came to the USA in the late thirties to work with Herbert Matter on a project and stayed.

PRIVATE33 050A quintessential representation in a few lines of a “Roman face” with the three colors of the Italian flag ( tricolore) on a record cover of the very early 1960’s.

PRIVATE33 051The art director for Command Records, at the time, was Charles E. Murphy, who would go on and design a number of record covers for Command himself, but in general Command would use real graphic designers of the caliber of German designer Josef Albers and S. Foujita. The inner sleeve shows us some of these fabulous mid century designs by Giusti and those by other designers.

img537img536on the front side

img535For example, the Mussorgsky design cover is by Albers. We wrote a post previously on Albers, and it is also filed under record covers. The Command Records produced under the direction of Enoch Light were the best in the business from an audiophile point of view.

img540The music on this record consists of Italian classics, and who better to design such a record cover than the Italian George Giusti.

img538img539George Giusti’s designs included covers for Fortune Magazine during the Second World War and for Time, as well as, Holiday Magazine, but he also worked for the Ciba Geigy pharmaceutical company and the United States Information Agency.

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) holds superb extensive archival material with a downloadable PDF file of their holdings, and a number of other resources on the web have images which are related. I especially like this website with some good book covers by Arden Riodan, more Command Record covers on this mid century modern website.