Art Director 1970 – 1979
To understate the man, Roland Young was blessed with both a very quick mind and a quick wit. His gift was pinpointing for you exactly what he wanted you to see and think about.
A&M hired Roland in January 1971 as its director of advertising art and record album design. A&M lured him away from Capitol Record where he was the album cover design head. At A&M Roland was credited with over 550 projects as the art director (500 projects), designer, creative advisor, illustrator and photographer.
To Roland Young everything is connected. It is up to the designer to create connections to make something new and different, to see what things can be. If an image communicates the message, words are not necessary. All of the elements should add to the communication, those that don’t are decoration.
Roland’s influence extended to being a professor at the Art Center. Among the teaching moments in his class (from the video Roland Young Is God):
“How do you communicate ice cream? It has all kinds of shit to communicate.”
“Real seeing is forgetting the name of the object that you’re looking at.”
“What does that even mean?”
“When you’re a designer you take in everything. Everything become a part of it.”
“Go after it like a designer goes after it.”
“What do you have to say about [the subject]?”
Roland Young full album credits
Photo of Roland's hands by Mark Hanauer 1977