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Record labels
Milton Glaser Collection Box 100 Folder 4: detail from Utopia promotional brochure cover, late 1960s? (Full image)
January 28, 2014

Record labels

We love our Glaser album covers here at Container List. Like this one. And these. Milton Glaser was also responsible for identity programs for more than a few labels, and, in the case of Poppy and Tomato, created a distinctive visual signature for most everything those businesses sent out into the world.

Glaser had a long professional relationship with Irish record entrepreneur Kevin Eggers that began in 1966 when Eggers founded the Poppy label. Glaser produced several gorgeously surreal posters for the company, like the Poppy Foot for Townes Van Zandt and The Mandrake Memorial, Poppy Gives Thanks, and From Poppy With Love (seen below on the reverse side of letterhead). All expressed the power of music to flourish in unexpected places.

A illustration of a bright red poppy growing out of a grey block of concrete. It stands in a emerald green empty field with a red smokey sky above it.

Milton Glaser Collection Box 94 Folder 2: Poppy letterhead, verso, c. 1967.

Several years later, Eggers founded the Utopia label with Giorgio Gomelsky where he again called upon Glaser to develop a visual identity for the label. Below is the art for two promotional pieces for Utopia (the first references the flowery hair of Glaser’s Lotus Land nude for the Push Pin Graphic and the flowing garments from his Opera News covers). Glaser also designed the Utopia horizon logo.

Black and white ink illustration of a woman with an elaborate hairstyle with flowers and a flowing black dress and cape, she's holding a record that is labeled "Utopia"

Milton Glaser Collection Drawer 10 Folder 16, original art for Utopia promotional materials, late 1960s?

Rough pencil washed sketch of a nude woman with a feather in her hair holding a large record containing the text UTOPIA

Milton Glaser Collection Box 32 Folder 5: original art for Utopia promotional materials, late 1960s?

Delicate text (UTOPIA) underneath a circle containing blue, yellow and green watercolor gradient, it resembles a sunset/sunrise

Milton Glaser Collection Box 100 Folder 4: Utopia logo from envelope, late 1960s?

Eggers eventually founded the idiosyncratic Tomato label, which he populated with classical, jazz, and blues artists, plus various other misunderstood and troubled musical savants (Eggers brought Townes Van Zandt, whom he also managed, over from Poppy).

Simple, geometric graphic of a bright red tomato with a green leaf. Below in big thin text it read "ToMATo"

Tomato Records logo, 1978.

In 1983, Glaser designed the logo for Elektra Records, as well as its subsidiaries Asylum and Nonesuch. Below is a sketch for Asylum; the final logo took a less literal approach.

A graphic design of a Red to black gradient A with the top of the letter ripped off. Below in thin big lletter it reads "ASYLUM".

Milton Glaser Collection Box 41 Folder 8: Asylum logo sketch, c. 1983.

Graphic of a white triangle overlapping a part of a yellow circles, which resembles the sun, in a black starry sky. Below in thin futuristic text is "Asylum"

Milton Glaser Collection Box 85 Folder 19: Asylum logo, c. 1983.

A white background with cut outs of a grid of circles, revealing underneath a pattern of red circles on a black background.

Milton Glaser Collection Box 88 Folder 6: Elektra logo on envelope, c. 1983.

Block black letter N made up of colorful grid lines on a white background. Underneath in think black text reads "Nonesuch"

Milton Glaser Collection Box 41 Folder 9: Nonesuch logo mechanical, c. 1983.

Near and dear to my heart is the Bearsville label, founded in 1970 by Albert Grossman, which released the great “Runt. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren” in 1971 (Glaser also designed that album cover).

Blank white square surrounded by tan border with a circle with a black bear popping up with a white text that reads " Bearsville"

Milton Glaser Collection Box 86 Folder 2: Bearsville letterhead, early 1970s.

Finally, Glaser’s logo for Bud Prager’s Phantom Records:

Colorful circular logo featuring a yellow ghost head on a red background. Below in a rainbow patterned color text reads "Phantom"

Milton Glaser Collection Box 93 Folder 26: Phantom logo from envelope, undated.

See larger versions of everything here, plus even more stuff, on our Flickr page.