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Visual weight – the importance of cover art in vinyl albums
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Vikten av det visuella - skivomslagets bilder och dess betydelse för LP-skivan som musikmedium (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The vinyl album record cover was long one of the primary ways for bands and artists to expose themselves visually. During the 1950's, experimental design was seen particularly in jazz covers, while the early rock music had a more direct and commercial approach to cover design. As rock and popular cultures in the 1960's developed, the record package evolved as an artistic form of expression and visual representation of music. Expressions mainly associated with traditional art was absorbed by popular culture and has had a decisive effect on the current view of the record cover as an art form. In the 1970's, there was an increasing diversification of popular music and a more clear distinction between commercial mainstream music and alternative music, which is reflected in the album covers. During the 1980's, the music video played an important role in how music and the artists were presented visually. New formats as the audio cassette and CD took over the role of the LP on the disc market. During the 1990's when independent labels and artists reached a wider audience, several of their album releases were on vinyl formats. Internet and file sharing of music, has had a significant impact on the music industry in the 2000's and there is a decline in the sales of physical media such as CD's. As a consequence, opportunities for independent operators to spread their music has changed radically. At the same time there is an increasesed interest in the vinyl record as an alternative or a complement to digital music. This increased interest in vinyl albums has largely to do with the visual expression of the album cover in relation to CD's and digital files, as well as with the physical form of the LP and its characteristics as a collector's item.

Abstract [sv]

LP-skivans omslag var länge ett av de primära sätten för band och artister att exponera sig visuellt. Experimentell design hos LP-omslag sågs under 1950-talet främst inom jazzmusiken, medan den tidiga rockmusiken hade ett mer direkt och kommersiellt uttryck. I takt med rockens och populärkulturens utveckling under 1960-talet skedde en utveckling av skivomslaget som konstnärligt uttrycksmedel och som visuell representation av musiken. Uttryck som främst setts i traditionella konstsammanhang togs upp av populärkulturen och har haft en avgörande effekt på dagens syn på skivomslaget som konstart. Under 1970-talet skedde en tydligare indelning i kommersiell ”mainstreammusik” och mer alternativ musik. Detta avspeglas också i omslagsdesignen. Under 1980-talet fick musikvideon en viktig roll för hur musik och band presenterades visuellt. Nya format som kassett och CD övertog LP-skivans roll på skivmarknaden. Under 1990-talet nådde alternativa, oberoende bolag och musiker en bredare publik och flera av dessa artister släppte album på vinyl. Internet och fildelning av musik har haft en omfattande inverkan på musikbranschen under 2000-talet och försäljningen av fysiska medier som CD minskar kraftigt. Möjligheterna för oberoende aktörer att nå ut med sin musik har förändrats radikalt. Samtidigt ökar återigen intresset för LP-skivan som alternativ eller komplement till digital musik. Det ökade intresset för LP-skivan har till stor del att göra med skivomslagets möjligheter till konstnärligt uttryck gentemot CD och digitala filer, samt med LP-formatets fysiska form och dess egenskaper som samlarobjekt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 41 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-93059ISRN: LiU-ITN-TEK-G--11/003--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-93059DiVA: diva2:624096
Subject / course
Graphics Design and Communication
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2013-05-30 Created: 2013-05-27 Last updated: 2013-05-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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