From Open Culture, a short examination of the history of album cover design, and how the Beatles changed it.
Their evolution from the teenpop “personality cover” to the broody and surreal is self-evident, from Rubber Soul’s groovy band shot and psychedelic lettering toRevolver’s take on Aubrey Beardsley, courtesy of Klaus Vormann, “The Beatles were leaders in expanding an album cover’s function from a marketing tool to a work of art in its own right.” Then we come to Sgt. Pepper’s, and the shift is cemented. The album cover’s designer, Peter Blake, explicitly thought of the cover as “a piece of art rather than an album cover. It was almost a piece of theater design.” And the band themselves had a direct hand in its creation. “We all chose our own colours and our own materials,” noted McCartney.
You can read the entire Open Culture article here.