How did vinyl start?


In 1948, thanks to CBS, we discovered the world’s first LP (Long Play) record. Created by Peter Goldmark, this vinyl record had a capacity of around 21 minutes per side and was 12 inches wide, and played at a speed of 33 1/3 RPM. This changed the face of the music industry to the album-centric format that we all continue to adhere to today. Shortly after, RCA Victor introduced their own LP, which spun at 45 RPM and was only 7 inches in size. These record formats are the same ones we use today, and are once again growing in popularity.

The vinyl format is still widely hailed as the best when it comes to sound quality and listening pleasure, many challengers have come and gone, but the records have stood the test of time like no other

Despite collectors’ collective fixation on the format, how vinyl records are made is rarely appreciated. As it turns out, it’s a relatively arduous process that you shouldn’t try at home. Avid vinyl record collectors know that the production process is also extremely important, with the quality of the record at stake. For fans who are curious about the process of how vinyl records are made, follow the steps as we go along with the help

How are the covers made?

In 1938, Columbia Records hired graphic designer Alex Steinweiss as art director. He soon went on to invent the concept of album covers and cover art, replacing the plain gray covers that were used before. Soon after, other record companies followed suit and introduced their own colored paper covers for 10-inch and 12-inch vinyl records.

“ An album can definitely be judged by its cover. It can give the wrong impression if the designer is not aware of the message that he is sending. However, he can also send exactly the right message… » Guðmundur Ørn Ísfeld

How important is vinyl cover design? What is the purpose of this?

The cover of the vinyl is important, because it can catch your attention and thus be able to sell more or if, on the contrary, it does not have the necessary strength, it will have a negative effect.

Vinyl cover art is important for many reasons. It has the power to be a complementary force in driving record sales or, if neglected, it can have the opposite effect. Imagine you are looking through the boxes at a record store and you are looking at random records. Many times, your choices are guided solely by the mood and message conveyed by an album’s artwork.

What should musicians keep in mind when planning the cover art for their vinyl project? Who should design it?

When creating the vinyl cover, you must take into account what group of people it is aimed at and what musical style it represents. It’s not the same cover art for a pop style as it is for a hip-hop or heavy metal style. If you know your listeners they will know how to reach you quickly.

When developing a vinyl record design, you should definitely keep in mind that the style and artwork itself is a mirror of the musical genre. It must represent your music in one way or another. You should try to focus on your identity as an artist, band, musician, etc… What defines you?

If the music is on the experimental side, then the cover should match that. If it’s pop music, the artist may want to be featured on the cover. Which is also fine. Different music genres tend to follow certain design styles. You can lose a lot of sales if you don’t focus on it. The audience must be known!

What is the essential information that the album cover should contain? What about the center tags?

Usually the cover will contain the name of the artist/band as well as the name of the album release. This is a general rule of thumb, but some choose to do it in an unconventional way.

The back cover of the album must have:

  • Track list
  • Playback times
  • For a better harmony, the typography used can be different from the one on the cover, but they must be related to each other and easy to read.

The album back cover should include the album track listing and play times. The typography may be different here than on the cover, but it should still communicate stylistically and be easy to read. There should be a space on the back cover or inside for legal and licensing information. Record labels may also want to include catalog numbers. A photo of your band is also welcome.

The labels are located in the central part of the vinyl. During the vinyl production process, these are baked to remove moisture. While the slots are being made, the labels are pressed at the same time. On the labels you have to put which side of the vinyl you are on (side A or side B)

Center labels are the round pieces of paper in the middle of the vinyl record. Apart from side A or side B you can also assign one side with information and leave the other side for the artwork. Disk speed is also an important detail. Not everyone follows these standards, but often depending on which side spins faster, the layout can be used to create a visual effect.

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