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Alex Steinweiss

1917-2011 US, Brooklyn

A.k.a. Piedra Blanca

American graphic designer, born March 24, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, died July 18, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida. In 1939 he was the first art director for Columbia Records, where he introduced a wide application of the concept of album covers and cover art. As records were mostly sold in uniform brown sleeves back then, he contributed an artistic viewpoint to this practise, widely regarded today as the inventor of the modern record cover designs. He was then active in record cover design from 1939 until 1973, and has designed roughly 2500 covers. He also, in the early 1950s, created the paperboard cover for the then new LP format, and so defined the visual identity of recorded music for decades to come. His cover for Beethovens Piano Concerto No. 5, a white light beam splitting into a prism over a piano, influenced the coverart of Hipgnosis' "The Dark Side Of The Moon" by Pink Floyd for example.

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