Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mike's Aesthetic Guidelines

The following guidelines fall into two categories: those that apply to the LP and those that apply to the autograph on the LP.

The LP

1. The LP should have an attractive design and feature the artist's likeness. Records from the 50s and 60s are usually more attractive than those from later decades.
2. The LP should be in decent condition: there should be no ring wear or stickers or price tags, and the record should not be a cut-out/remainder (no cut corners, punched holes, or notched spines).
3. The LP design should be light enough in color that an autograph made with a black sharpie stands out clearly.
4. The LP should be an original pressing or at least look basically the same as the original pressing.
5. The LP design should be void of excessive lettering, which can distract attention from the autograph.
6. The LP should be a legitimate release and not a repackaging of hits.

The Autograph

1. The autograph should be bold and clear and exemplary of the artist's signature. It should not be smeared, nor written with an overly dry pen, nor written sloppily.
2. Autographs on LPs more than ten years old should not include a date; a recent date on an LP that's several decades old looks out of place.
3. Personalizations are a matter of preference, but non-personalized signatures have broader appeal.
4. There should not be any mistakes (i.e., corrected letters) in the autograph.


  1. These seem less like rules than desires or goals, because we all know how difficult it is to achieve success on all of these points. These could serve as rules if they are rules for what autographed album covers to display, however.

    I think you should also discuss how best to strike up a conversation with the artist in order to get the best shot at attaining these goals. Maybe you could also post some autograph "fails" as examples...

  2. Good point. I changed "rules" to "guidelines." I will definitely post some autograph "fails" in the near future. I will also discuss striking up conversations in an upcoming post and share some positive and negative experiences.

  3. It sure beats having an artist sign an iTunes e-receipt screenshot printout.