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2 December 2009

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john l. walters
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Graphic Design
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Robert Flynn’s covers for Impulse! expressed ideas more than sounds

The Impulse! label LP covers by Robert Flynn / Viceroy are among the best of a great era. Yet this 1966 sleeve for John Coltrane’s turbulent, single-track album Ascension doesn’t attempt to represent the sound of the music.

But all the elements in the design – the portrait, the typography, the use of colour and white space – express the idea of Coltrane’s work, always questioning and questing. The album cover communicates immediately that this is serious music. Not pop, not classical, not straight-ahead jazz, but something else.

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