Henrietta Condak

Henrietta Condak was a graphic designer, an art director, and a design educator.

Born in Manhattan, New York, she graduated from Cooper Union and started her design career working for Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine and Esquire magazine. In 1963, she joined Columbia Records and CBS Records.1 Two years later, she became one of the first women to be nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Classical Album Cover for her design of Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra. Her second Grammy award nomination was in 1968 for the design of Haydn: Symphony No. 84 in E Flat Major/Symphony No. 85 in B Flat Major La Reine.2
During her almost two decades at Columbia Records, she designed and art directed hundreds of album covers for various Columbia series and labels such as: Columbia Masterworks, Columbia Odyssey, and CBS Great Performances. She collaborated with numerous leading artists, illustrators, and designers of the time. Both Carin Goldberg and Paula Scher acknowledge Condak as an important mentor in their careers.
Goldberg recognized Condak to be the first to introduce historical vernacular into graphic design, as can be seen in her work for CBS Masterworks Series.In her collage work, Condak referred to the historical images she used as Archive Art, Archive Print, and Archive Photo, possibly referring to the material she used from the CBS library of historic art, design books, and magazines.
In 1982, Condak became a professor at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan.5 While continuing to teach, in 1984, she founded her own studio, Condak Design. She continued her design work for the music, dance, and publishing industries. 

Condak's work was highlighted in
CA, the Magazine of Communication Arts in 1966.In the 1991 article, CBS Records. The Marketing of Modern Music Philip Meggs included her designs and described her classical album covers as a "romantic and esthetic enchantment".7  Several of her album covers are showcased on AIGA Design Archives.8 Her published album covers designs are documented on discogs.com, a discography database.9

  1. Steven Browerm, The Musical Work of Design Pioneer Henrietta Condak. AIGA Eye on Design, September 3rd, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  2. All Grammy Awards and Nominations for Henrietta Condak. Retrieved May 17, 2024. 
  3. Ryan & Tina Essmaker, Paula Scher, The Great Discontent, November 19, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2024. 
  4. Sean Adams, Step Q&A Carin Goldberg, Step Magazine. Retrieved May 17, 2024. 
  5. SVA NYC Instructors. Retrieved May 17, 2024. 
  6. CA Annual 7, CA, the Magazine of Communication Arts. 8: 78–79. November–December 1966.
  7.  Philip Meggs, CBS Records. The Marketing of Modern Music. January 1991.Graphis. 47: 92.
  8. AIGA Design Archives. Retrieved May 17, 2024. 
  9. Henrietta Condak discography. Retrieved May 17, 2024. 




Completed Works

Process Works