I guess it was inevitable that ST33 would venture into the world of the generic 7″ sleeve at some stage. We’re not the first to do so, and probably won’t be the last. Individual album sleeves are where it’s at, but nobody who was into music from the 1950s onwards forgets the album’s smaller and humble partner.
Paper sleeves were there just to afford some token protection for the surface of the record, I suppose providing anything more substantial (card for example) for what was seen by many as a short lived product would have impacted on profit margins. These paper sleeves started to appear in the fifties on 78s, and became standard issue for the 45 from day one. In design terms the sleeves were as basic as the material they were printed onto, but reflected the changing record company logos and styles in a way which isn’t really documented anywhere else.
Seen again after several decades many of the sleeves are surprisingly familiar and have also been plundered by designers searching for visual references for reissues or compilations, evoking as they do the early pop era.
Many ‘serious’ record buyers simply threw these paper sleeves away, replacing them with something like the more protective card / plastic lined covers sold in Boots record departments and elsewhere. Big mistake! Today the sleeves are in big demand, so much so that there are a growing range of obvious reproductions on sale. But you can still find boxes of the originals at reasonable prices in charity shops and record fairs.
Working on book designs lately I have had course to scan some sleeves in, so they will be posted here as and when.
There are some cute home made wallpaper single bags I found on the site here.