Monday, January 11, 2010

Persuasive Design from Mr. Albers

Persuasive Percussion Volume 3 was created and produced by Enoch Light and was released by Command Records in 1960. I believe it is the final album produced of the series. The far-out, stereophonic sound is pretty groovy and the recording is a great listen — an “ear-opening” experience.

But I must confess — I love this album more for the design and typography. I found this album at a Goodwill store a couple of years ago and was drawn in by the elegant design. I immediately saw that is was designed by none other than Josef Albers, the well-known Bauhaus artist and designer, who came to the US in the 1940’s and taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He and his wife Ani then moved on to New Haven, CT where Albers became the head of the Design Department at Yale University in the ’50s. He is known as an accomplished painter, designer, typographer, printmaker and poet.

This cover design perfectly represents what you can expect on the album — modern, experimental sounds that are timeless; musical compositions that will delight the listener. The design uses many elements in such a powerful way: order, contrast, tension, balance, scale, space, shape and color. It is well thought out and meticulously crafted. It certainly conveys the mood and style of the album, which makes me think about how similar music and design are, and how they share many elements. It also reminds me how important it is for design to reflect content, not the other way around.

Thank you Mr. Albers, for the inspiration. I'm off to look for Volume 1 and 2.

The only thing that bugs me about the cover is the excessive space between “Persuasive” and “Percussion”. Unless the intention was to lead your eye down into the design. Hmmm.

Shameless self-promotion — right there in 18pt type. Bold. Caps.

I really like the script type here. Beautiful!