CD, Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963 - 1964

CD, Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963 - 1964

SONY BMG Creative Services, New York, New York, 2004


The challenge was to design a CD box set that was to be third in a series and would be the seventh release (the series was not released chronologically). The set would need to hold seven CDs and a booklet, and use the same format as the previous releases (container/sleeve and metal-spined book that holds the booklet and CDs).

My approach was influenced by three things: Miles’ “Brooks Brothers look” of the period—gray suit and white shirt, very classic; the prevalent art styles of the period, Swiss graphics (Helvetica) and abstract expressionism; the silvery black and white photography that was common at that time.

The outside container received a gray suitlike fabric wrap with a touch of glossy black hot foil in the stamped silhouette of Miles that has been used to identify the series, atop a modern “III” to mark its standing in the series. To add a little unexpected interest, graphic typography and a photo of Miles performing onstage were printed on the inside of the outside container/sleeve. The book was wrapped in a warm white fabric and a polished nickel metal spine with the package title stamped into it. The “III” was die-cut into the book cover, and a silver and black image of Miles, covered with vellum, peers through. Paper stock was a Mohawk Superfine Recycled uncoated smooth text printed with black, silver and a spot varnish. I also interspersed vellum flysheets printed with the same inks. Contrasting fonts were used, a modified expressionistic Lassigue D’Mato and the Helvetica Neue family. Drawings by Rick Klauber printed in black over an area of silver covered the CD sleeves. Black bars were used to identify the disc number, echoing the “III” symbol.

The package was received with great satisfaction by the record label.

Collections: AIGA 365: 26 (2005)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Package design
Format: Package


Design firm
SONY BMG Creative Services
Creative director
Christopher Austopchuk
Art directors
Howard Fritzson, Seth Rothstien, Giulio Turturro
Giulio Turturro
Rick Klauber
Joe Alper, Vernon Smith, Jan Persson, Roger Marshutz, Chuck Stewart, Lee Tanner, Ted Williams, John Wilkes
Production coordinator
Charlie Sarrica
Production artist
David Santana
Liner notes by Bob Blumenthal
Content strategist
Steve Berkowitz & Seth Rothstien
Michael Cuscuna, Bob Belden
Project manager
Peter Kszan
Shorewood (interior), Imperial Box (exterior)
Printing method
Offset (interior)
Riverside Bindery
Binding method
Perfect bound
Mohawk, Superfine, Ultra White, 70 lb. text, smooth
Shorewood (interior), Imperial Box (exterior)
Shorewood (interior), Imperial Box (exterior)
Lassique D Mato (modified), Helvetica Neue
Legacy/Columbia Records