27 Aug 2004
Declaration of Independence 
From Creative Review September 2004: "Much of the most innovative, influential and downright beautiful graphic design of the last 40 years has come from independent studios, says Rick Poynor. Which is why he made them the focus of a major exhibition of British graphic design opening in September 2004 at The Barbican."

The following extracts mention both Peter Saville and 8vo, two of the most important designers for Factory Records:

"The generation of designers that had arrived in the late 1970s on the coat tails of punk had exerted enormous influence both on the look of graphic design and on conceptions of how and where design might be used and the ways it could address its audiences. Peter Saville has received a great deal of credit in the last year for his contribution to these developments, but at the time it was Brody, enthroned at The Face, who was the more outspoken and influential figure, rapidly achieving international renown. Although he is slightly overlooked now, Vaughan Oliver, based at the independent record label 4AD, provided another luminous example of the sort of graphic vision that it was virtually impossible to achieve ensconced with the commercial mainstream."

It goes on: "The designers who made the running from the late 1980s - 8vo, Siobhan Keaney, Why Not Associates, Cartlidge Levene - followed by 1990s start-ups such as Jonathan Barnbrook, Graphic Thought Facility, Tomato, Fuel and North were able to operate in a communications landscape that was much more aware of the possibilities of design. They could work for a more varied range of clients than just record labels and style magazines."

Details

Communicate: British Independent Graphic Design since the Sixties
16 September 2004 - 23 January 2005
Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican, Moorgate

Box Office: 0845 121 6828

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Peter Saville colour wheel
Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column