I once read an interview with cover designer Storm Thorgerson in which he said that he chose the Gigi cover to put on the cover of Umma Gumma sort of at random. I don’t believe it, totally. By the way, I was just informed by a friend that Thorgerson died 10 days ago. He was the first record cover designer I ever cared about, I remember a smoke-induced discussion of him from college, 1975.
Why wasn’t Gigi chosen at random? Because of what a stand-out design it is. 1958 was a decent enough year for design – Steinweiss was at Everest, Decca and London, RCA had a great look still, and many other fine things were happening. But Gigi stands out. The bold logo was used for the movie posters, the sheet music, and the record cover, and it really establishes a brand. I show the original cover, two later reissues that use the same cover, and a much later reissue in which they changed it. All told, it was a high selling record, undoubtedly due to pretty good songs, but also I am sure to great graphics. I wish I knew who did them.