Then, as the 12", long-playing record was launched in the mid-'50s, Blue Note hired 28-year-old art director Reid Miles to design its cardboard sleeves.
Reaching its apotheosis with John Coltrane’s Blue Train in 1957, Miles’s cover designs combined tinted versions of Wolff’s black-and-white, in-studio photos with prominent typography.
“Reid Miles’s designs were magical,” advertising veteran and host of CBC Radio's Under the Influence, Terry O’Reilly, tells me in an email. “When I look at them, I have always felt they look like the music sounds. They ‘feel’ like cool jazz…. He used type as a major design force, not just as an element. His type has movement. His font choices are bold. Jazz moves; so do his album covers.”
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