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."


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
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column