Running in the National Print Museum from May 5 until October 1, ‘Green Sleeves’ covers the increase in popularity of the humble record, the period of prosperity, the decline of the industry and modern increases in demand for wax.
“Despite selling in much smaller numbers than its heyday, the format has proven remarkably resilient and album covers continue to be designed in Ireland.
“By the 1960s there were over 150 printers in Dublin alone, supported by a workforce of thousands. Apart from these, a smaller number of companies were involved in printing record sleeves, both of Irish and international musicians. Most of these companies were based in Dublin or on the Irish eastern seaboard. The market for record sleeves started to grow. The packaging company Dakota Ltd. purchased the smaller Earlsfort Press in the 1960s to concentrate mainly on producing record sleeves for the Irish music industry. The 1980s however brought about change. In the printing industry, multinational computing corporations based in Ireland contracted local companies to produce their computer manuals. So great was the demand that large parts of the printing industry were occupied with the supply of manuals. This lead to a reduced capacity in Ireland for record sleeves printing, at a time when the record format itself was under threat from another direction.”
The exhibition looks at tracking this saga, by selecting a number of significant sleeves from over the decades. It’s curated by Dr Ciarán Swan and Niall McCormack and is sponsored by MCD.
Admission is free. Click here for more information.