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Hobo Flats by Jimmy Smith

Contributed by Mark Butchko on Oct 30th, 2016. Artwork published in .
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Front cover.

    Album cover for Jimmy Smith’s 1963 release Hobo Flats. The organ legend began his career recording for Blue Note, but made the move over to Verve Records in 1962. During the 1950s, Verve album covers relied on (mostly very dated) illustrations by artists such as David Stone Martin. But by the 1960s, in an effort to compete with the groundbreaking designs by Reid Miles for Blue Note, Verve began to take a more modern, typographic approach to their album covers.

    The Hobo Flats cover is a simple, restrained design that features Cooper Black. Released in 1923 [or 1922 – ed], Cooper Black is an ultra bold version of Cooper (1918–19). Despite its immediate and enduring popularity, Oswald “Oz” Cooper was actually somewhat disappointed in Cooper Black’s success. A refined calligrapher, Cooper would refer to Cooper Black as a type “for farsighted printers and farsighted customers.” Though it has fallen in and out of fashion over the years, we are now a mere 6 years away from the 100th anniversary of its release and its use and reputation shows no signs of abating.

    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Back cover.


    • Cooper Black




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    1 Comment on “Hobo Flats by Jimmy Smith”

    1. Cody Boisclair says:
      Dec 5th, 2016  5:40 am

      I get the feeling that this may have been an inspiration for the cover of The Black Keys’ Brothers.

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