Wednesday, 9:19am
2 December 2009

Sleeves we like

john l. walters
things we like
Graphic design
Music design

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.

Eye is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop. For a taste of the magazine, try Eye before you buy.