A packager OF
dreams TH E NATI O NAL PAPER TR AD E A S S O CIATI O N
STOUGHTON PRINTING AND ITS RECORD JACKETS THRIVE AS VINYL CONTINUES ITS RESURGENCE
BY LEAH WHEELER
f you bought a fan belt for your car, you probably would not preserve the box and add it to your special collection or hang it on the wall of your home. But a record jacket is a unique packaging product that is synonymous with the music contained within it. “There is no other product out there where the package is an essential part of the product like a vinyl record jacket,” said Jack Stoughton Jr., president of Stoughton Printing of Industry, California. “Every record jacket we produce is unique and uniquely representative of the music, the artist, the genre, the essence of the music it surrounds.” Vinyl record jackets are an art form that is visual, tactile and auditory. They invoke not only the music, stories, harmonies and lyrics of the record, but they often also evoke a special time, place or feeling in the life of the listener. Alex Steinweiss popularized album artwork for Columbia Records back in 1938, and jackets have become increasingly complex and unique ever since. The art form has evolved from 45 RPM singles to direct-to-board jackets and gatefolds to Stoughton’s own brand of “Old Style” jackets combining old world craftsmanship with modern-day printing techniques.