Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Survey of Victor's Generic Covers, Part 1

I've been sharing a bunch of Alec Steinweiss' Columbia cover designs lately, including generic ones, and, for a change of pace, offer the answer of Columbia's main competitor, Victor, to some of those designs.  In 1943 Steinweiss unveiled an appealing generic design for back issues in the Columbia catalog to replace the drab "tombstone" cover.  Victor's generic covers were equally drab in the early 40s, but that changed, probably in 1945, with the introduction of four new cover designs signed by Frank Decker.  Here are two of them:
In 1946, the brand name "Victor" officially became "RCA Victor" on the labels and covers, and so the designs were modified, replacing "VICTOR Red Seal Records" with "RCA VICTOR Red Seal Records" in a box and adding a line-drawing of Nipper to the side:

As I said, there were four of these 1945 designs in all, but I do not have the other two in their original "Victor-only" form (though I know they exist, for I have owned examples in the past).  I do have them as 45-rpm sets, however, with the modified form:
There were four additional generic designs a year or two later, which will be the subject of the next installment.

Incidentally, fans of Steinweiss' work will want to obtain the Taschen book, formerly priced at $500 as a limited edition, but now at Amazon for $44.09 in general release.  It's well worth that, and contains over 250 of his cover designs for Columbia, Decca, London and other labels.  A magnificent production indeed!  The Amazon link is here.


  1. Recently viewed a Frank Decker cover that has a Dali like take on shadows and perspectives. Is he known for these, like the Beethoven cover above as well?

  2. today from a thrift store. They are labeled Victor Red Seal Records. One with the harp(5 records in that set) and one with the colorful rubber design(only 2 records in that cover). Are they valuable? I feel in love with the covers!