This is not going to become a never-ending thread but I stumbled across this article on wired.com, “Design Artwork for a Shrinking Album Cover”. Steven Heller makes the point that, as the available space for album cover art has shrunk from 153.1 square inches (12” vinyl album cover) through 22.6 square inches (CD case) to 0.4 square inch (iPod Nano Cover Flow icon), so the bar for design innovation has been raised.
Very true. Though I hanker a little for the “hang it on the wall” artistry of some of my favourite covers:
…and, of course, the list is endless: Jeff Beck’s Wired, Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, etc etc