Alice Cooper, Aimee Mann and UNKLE were among the winners as the Alex Awards for achievement in vinyl packaging resumed after a 12-year absence during the Making Vinyl conference on Monday night (Nov. 6) in Detroit.
The Awards are named for Alex Steinweiss, the late Columbia Records designer who created the first true album packages starting in 1939, as the record industry began to transition from 78s to LPs. Steinweiss’ son Leslie and grandson Homer were on hand to present one of the awards during the ceremony, which was emceed by award-winning designer Craig Braun (the Rolling Stones‘ Sticky Fingers, The Velvet Underground & Nico).
The Alex Awards were last presented during 2006, when there was just one vinyl category amidst nominations for CD, DVD and video game packaging.
Mann’s Mental Illness was named best LP cover, while Cooper’s Live From The Astroturf was best 45 single package and UNKLE’s The Road, Part 1 was best gatefold.
The Alex Awards were determined by a panel of art directors who considered 124 submissions in the eight categories.
Making Vinyl drew nearly 300 attendees from as far away as New Zealand, China, Japan and Europe. The event featured a keynote Q&A from Jack White, whose Detroit-based Third Man Pressing co-sponsored the event, as well as keynote speeches by rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and Records Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz.
Organizers plan to rotate the conference to other cities around the world and hope to host one in Europe during the second quarter of 2018.
Other Alex Award winners included:
Best Photo LP Cover: Wxahatachee, Out In The Storm
Best Record Art: The Monks, Hamburg Recordings 1967
Best Reissue Package: John Cale, The Academy In Peril and Andromeda Strain Soundtrack
Best Boxed Set: Voyager: 40th Anniversary Edition
Best Overall Package: AKATRE, BLCK RCK and Pet Symmetry, Vision