Norman S. Ives Typographic Bach



I’ve been holding this one up for quite a bit as my blog was turning into an LP archive but after switching up a bit here it is:

For those who don’t know. Norman Ives was a graphic designer former student of Josef Albers at the Yale University where he also began teaching afterwards.

During the mid-to-late 1950s he worked with Herbert Matter on numerous design projects, including work for the New Haven Railroad, and Knoll International.

He is mostly known for his collages, wall reliefs and silkscreen prints.

This cover here features his love for letterforms. This was probably some of his earlier work since it was produced in 1955 and he received his MFA degree in 1952. In any case this is merely one of the coolest record covers I have.

The Paper is off white and the letters are overprinted in a cool gray color and white ink which looks very nice against the paper. The letters aren’t perfectly shaped. If you get close they appear to have been drawn by hand almost like paper cut out. The only straight lines are on the letter A and H. Lots of white space. A great modern typographic approach to a classical record.

About Norman S. Ives:
Bio on Francisfrost
AIGA Constructions and Reconstructions Exhibit
Bio on Ewardcella

Design: Norman S. Ives   |   Year: 1955   |   Photos: Javier García

Product Info:
Haydn Society Album Covers, 1955
Copyright 1955 by the Haydn Society, Inc.
Boston Massachusetts
Cover Design by Norman S. Ives

Author: Javier

Javier Garcia is a graphic designer and collector living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

3 thoughts on “Norman S. Ives Typographic Bach”

  1. We are so happy to have discovered your blog entries on the Haydn Society Album Covers! Last night we were showing my sister and her family prints we have of the covers and this morning she discovered your blog.

    My husband, Thomas Crowder, was president of the Haydn Society in the early 1950’s and he has always taken pride in their record covers. You might be interested to know that Alvin Eisenman (Tom’s roomate at Dartmouth) provided the artists for the Haydn Society covers. Alvin was the “official unpaid Art Director”. Norman Ives was Alvin’s student at Yale, Joe Low was a colleague and good friend, and Alvin Lustig did workshops at Yale. Other Haydn Society artists include Jay Maisel, Landau, Margaret Ryan and Arno.

    It seem appropriate that we are having this discussion now a week or so after HC Robbins Landon’s death. Thanks so much for doing this blog.

    Linda Rinearson and Tom Crowder


  2. Mr. Garcia,

    I was very happy to find that you were talking about the Hadyn Society and its beautiful album covers. I see that my father and mother (Thomas Crowder and Linda Rinearson) have already expressed their excitement and thanks to you. I would like to do so as well.

    I just posted something about the Haydn Society and it’s album covers on my blog ( and have included links to your blog. I used three of your photographs as well. I know it is bad form to do so without asking. I wanted to cite your Flickr account but I was unable to find the photographs via Flickr. Please know that I meant no disrespect and that I truly enjoy your beautiful and insightful blog.


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