But as recorded music gained popularity in the post-World-War-II era, record labels began to use album sleeves as a marketing tool. Album art not only served as an ad for the album inside, but helped shape the image of the artist.” –David Merline, “Is Album Cover Art Gone For Good?,”Web2Carz, September 26, 2012By jettisoning the physical “product” of the record album, or the DVD, or the book, the art that was once contained within these packages has to stand on its own merits. With no nifty package to lure you into a purchase, you have to want to listen to your albums, or read your books, or watch your movies, or play your games, because there is no longer any “thing” to own, or admire, or display on a shelf.
I believe that album art is clearly still as important as it ever was. People still connect to the record through its visual aesthetic, I know that I certainly do. The two go hand in hand, and with out the album art the song seems incomplete. The fact that competitions such as Secret 7 exist is testimony to the power of album cover design and artwork.