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Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection



Agency: Visual Dialogue
Art Director: Fritz Klaetke
Designers: Fritz Klaetke, Kimber Lynch, Julie Ostrow
Writers: Jeff Place, Bob Santelli
Production Manager: Mary Monseur
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Location: Boston/Washington DC, USA
Packaging Materials: Hard-bound book with CDs inserted

From his discovery in prison to his genre-defying repertoire to his influence on musicians that continues to this day, Huddie Ledbetter—better known as Lead Belly—is one of the most fascinating characters in American music.

Following up our Grammy-winning Woody at 100, we worked closely with Smithsonian Folkways to present a complete picture in the definitive Lead Belly boxed set. The package traces his life verbally, visually, and aurally through a 140-page, 12” x 12" book (referencing the original LP covers), and five discs of career-spanning music.

What's Unique?
This is the first Lead Belly collection to convey the breadth and depth of his work, while also tackling the mythologized story of his life. To reference this straight-forward, direct look at Lead Belly, the 12" x 12" cover design features his face at actual size staring back at the viewer, with equally bold type overprinting the image.







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