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The original spoof cover of the 1972 record album Thick As A Brick by the British rock group Jethro Tull.

Good examples of graphic design can still be found relating to the last few decades. On more than one occasion, we have featured in our posts record covers illustrating excellent graphic design work. Record covers coupled with great cover photographs are increasingly found in public and private collections that center around Design with a Capital D.

The cover itself, both as an exercise in graphic design and as packaging exercise, have been studied widely, yet simple but very exciting discoveries can still be made. The cover on the top of the post is a spoof on the British local provincial press.

According to the album designer Roy Eldredge (Chrysalis), it look longer to make the fake newspaper than to record the album. The entire cover opens up to display a twelve page newspaper. The album contains only one song, probably another first in rock music. The album was re-issued in 1997 with a different cover.

The bottom part folds out and one of the pages has an article by the band’s leader to make it appear like a record release review.

As far as I am concerned this record cover album is a must have milestone in record packaging, the “first newspaper reproduction”. Next comes another “first” the 1974 Loggins and Messina On Stage album.

The cover looks like an imitation of a  “seat ticket” to a performance.

Front and rear of the cover.

The entire record cover field still is a golden opportunity to snap up a piece of unusual graphic design memorabilia waiting to be discovered. Of a different type of design is a fine 1956 example of a cover by a very famous photographer Robert Capa (Magnum) whose photograph of the bookstalls along the River Seine in the heart of Paris, France graces this album.

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Photo credit prominently displayed in white letters lower left side.

camera 25 003 The inside of the album booklet shows some wonderful black and white photography by great French photographers. Photographing these album booklets for a blog post is no easy task because they are usually bound in,  and you can break the album binding open if you are not careful.

camera 25 007 camera 25 008 camera 25 009 camera 25 013These discoveries should supply enough motivation to start collecting the style of graphic design memorabilia you like, but above all to keep an open mind and eye for the unusual you come across. Nothing is “common” these days. Not even Pop memorabilia like the 70’s James Taylor booklet below and Jim Morrison’s fabulous poetry book!

Those among us, with lots of nostalgia, will appreciate a bit of Thick As A Brick by Jethro Tull in a 1978 Madison Square Garden live rock concert.

 

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