Five Hundred 45s: A Graphic History of the Seven-Inch Record

The 45 record sleeve has long been viewed as a medium for design experimentation, a blank slate onto which designers could unleash their creativity and ingenuity. From the 1950s to the 1980s, before the 45 was replaced by the CD, and then in the 1990s, when grunge became the rage and 45s enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, 45 record–sleeve design combined photography, illustration, color, and typography with innovative bravado. For this reason, vintage 45 record sleeves today are sought-after collectibles by music buffs and designers alike.