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Cover art is the illustration or photograph on the outside of a published product such as a book (often on a dust jacket), magazine, comic book, video game (box art), DVD, CD, videotape, or music album. The art has a primarily commercial function, i.e. to promote the product it is displayed on, but can have also have an aesthetic function, and may be artistically connected to the product, such as with art by the creator of the product.
Album cover art is artwork created for a music album. Iconic album cover art includes Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and their "White Album". Albums can have cover art created by the musician, as with Joni Mitchell's Clouds, or by an associated musician, such as Bob Dylan's artwork for the cover of Music From Big Pink, by The Band, Dylan's backup band's first album. Artists known for their album cover art include Alex Steinweiss, an early pioneer in album cover art, Roger Dean, and the Hipgnosis studio. Some album art may cause controversy because of nudity, offending churches, trademark or others. There have been numerous books documenting album cover art, particularly rock and jazz album covers. Alex Steinweiss was an art director and graphic designer who brought custom artwork to record album covers and invented the first packaging for long-playing records.
Whether printed on the dust jacket of a hardcover book, or on the cover of a paperback, book cover art has had books written on the subject, and numerous artists have become noted for their book cover art, including Richard M. Powers and Chip Kidd.
Sheet music cover artists include Frederick S. Manning, William Austin Starmer, and Frederick Waite Starmer, all three of whom worked for Jerome H. Remick. Other prolific artists included Albert Wilfred Barbelle, André De Takacs, and Gene Buck.
Gentleman Jim Corbett and John L. Sullivan at Olympic Club, New Orleans
Book cover for Uezdnoe, by Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1916
Book cover for The Real Mother Goose, 1916, Blanche Fisher Wright, illustrator
Cover for (the) Billboard Magazine's tenth anniversary edition, 1904
Cover of Collier's Weekly September 1897