The Loss of Art

A common lament among those who grew up listening to music on albums is that, with the death of vinyl, some things have been indelibly lost. Many artists used to arrange songs on a record in a very specific order, to take you on a musical journey, much like a Broadway show might. Others cleverly spaced out their hit songs among “filler” material, so just when you would be ready to give up on an album, a great new song would pull you back in. These days you can pick and choose the songs and play them in any order you like, sometimes missing out on a hidden gem.

But music aside, one of the greatest tragedies in the post-album world is the loss of some of the most creative and beautiful packaging the world has ever known. Some album covers were created by world-renowned artists and were so intricate that you could stare at them for hours, each time picking out features you’d never noticed before. Many record jackets were gatefolds, so you’d open them up and see twice as much artwork, or twice as many photos of the band, or extensive liner notes — it could truly be anything.

The records themselves would sometimes get into the act. Some were pressed in brightly colored or see-through vinyl and were true collectors’ items. The label in the middle of the record could be made to look like a hypnotic disc when it spun, or a buzzsaw, or skaters circling around on a frozen pond. The possibilities were limitless!

One other great packaging idea was the insert. You could add in a flyer for the band’s fan club, a fold-out cardboard airplane, a mask, an 8×10 of the artist — anything flat that would fit could be part of the overall package.

Today, with digital downloads being the norm, all of that creative packaging is a thing of the past. Who knows what sort of creative ideas will never see the light of day because of the death of the record?

Did you own an album that knocked your socks off with its packaging presentation? Tell us about it!

Rees Marketing Resources is your one-stop provider of creative, innovative custom sales and marketing product packaging. From concept to production, Rees will work with you to create high-impact sales and marketing solutions. Rees Marketing Resources is located outside of Boston, but we work with companies all over the country. Contact us if you want your sales and marketing packaging to stand out!