A retrospective of the work of Peter Saville (born 1955), one of the most influential graphic designers and art directors in UK is currently showing at the Design Museum. The exhibition covers twenty-five years of his amazing career, from his very first poster, the album covers which established his name, to the collaboration with designer Yohji Yamamoto and to more recent personal work.
New Order,True Faith. Art Direction: Peter Saville, Photo: Trevor Key
From the very beginning, Saville used the combination of images and fonts to great effect. For his 1978 Factory poster (which he made while still at design school), he created a sophisticated design, unlike the punk-induced anarchic styles around at that time. He then became art director for Factory Records and had total freedom to practise his ideas on the label’s identity and artwork. He went on to design album covers for bands including New Order, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Roxy Music and Wham!
New Order, Power Corruption and Lies. Original Painting: Henri Fantin-Latour, Design: Peter Saville Associates
The creative process of his album cover designs are seen in the display case that run down the middle of the exhibition space. There are original sketches, images of fine art such as De Chirico and French artist Henri Fantin-Latour (which inspired the cover for New Order’s ‘Power, Corruption and Lies’) as well as the actual designs laid out flat and its prototypes. The exhibits are accompanied by anecdotes, some of them showing concern about how to recoup the production costs!
Colour and Form, The Peter Saville Studio
This graphic has been created specially for the Design Museum.
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