Celebrating Alex Steinweiss: The Father of Record Design

Did you know this year marks 75 years since the world’s first designed album cover was created? That’s right, until Alex Steinweiss joined Columbia as the company’s first art director in 1939, records were sold in plain brown wrappers. But the man who loved design had a better idea, and he revolutionized an entire industry.

Today Steinweiss is known as the father of record design. During his career, he designed over 850 album covers for the likes of Bing Crosby, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong, to Winston Churchill’s 1941 Address to Congress. His cover art for the original Broadway recording of South Pacific has been in continuous use since its 1949 debut — and achievement for an American graphic design that is matched only by the Coca-Cola bottle.


MOO pays homage to the man, who is now known as the father of record design, with the Alex Steinweiss Legacy Collection, curated by Steven Heller. A collection of 50 of Steinweiss’ album covers printed on Luxe Square Business Cards make up this miniature album collection.