Sony Music timeline, 1887-2012

The history of Sony Music is charted in a typographic timeline installed in the company’s London HQ, created by designer Alex Fowkes

sonytimeline388_0.jpg - Sony Music timeline, 1887-2012 - 4788

The history of Sony Music is charted in a typographic timeline installed in the company’s London HQ, created by designer Alex Fowkes


The huge wall graphic (with shades of Lou Dorfsman’s famous Gastrotypographicalassemblage perhaps?) features the names of nearly 1,000 artists signed to the major label and its affiliates, beginning with the foundation of Columbia Phonograph Company in 1887, to recent signings Post War Years and A$AP Rocky.


From Elvis, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, to ABBA, Beyoncé and The Vaccines, the chart also references the development of music technology and formats – from cylinders to streaming – over the 125 year period.


Divided up by decade, 54 two-metre tall columns cover almost 150 square metres of wall space in Sony’s Derry Street offices in London.

More of Fowkes’ work is at – and this is what he carries some of it around in.


Design: Alex Fowkes. Media: Rob Antill. Printers: Lex Media. Commissioner: Emma Pike. Research: Paul Sexton.

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  • Andy

    Comedy Carpet? – anyone?

  • Michael B


    “Comedy Carpet? – anyone?”

    Which in itself took inspiration from old, retro music and comedy posters. It’s a style, not a concept.

  • michael

    nothings new – but somethings are cool

  • Rich

    A beautifully crafted visual decline in music. That last picture; Paul Potts, Cardle, Vickers, T-Pain ect. Speaks for itself

  • Dave


    Couldn’t have phrased that better; you check out the early years and you take a breath, conscious of their spirits; you check out the last wall and you ask “Who?”

  • David

    Great piece of work, would give anything to work on a project like this.

    Think some of us are too quick to point out obvious inspiration to try and take away from the quality of the work.

  • Charlie

    This is excellent! Great work Alex!

  • Anonymous admirer

    Well done lad.

  • Johnny Bull

    Lovely stuff, Alex. What a beautiful job.

  • Jon Daniel

    Lovely project, great piece of work.

  • John Morgan

    I could read this all day. Is it open to the public? And can we have a coffee table book of this please Alex?

  • Elliott Broidy

    That’s simply wonderful!