29 Apr 2006
Peter Saville and Ben Kelly: Designing Modern Britain 
The work of Peter Saville and Ben Kelly may be found, amongst other places, at the current 'Designing Modern Britain' exhibition at the Design Museum in London which continues until 26 November.

Their work slots into the '1980s - Designing Modern Leisure' section of the exhibition and the blurb is thus: "The paradigm was the Haçienda, a nightclub opened in 1982 in a disused Manchester yacht showroom by the local band New Order and its independent record label, Factory Records. The label was already renowned for the beautifully stylised graphics of its creative director Peter Saville, who asked a friend, Ben Kelly, to design the club. Kelly stripped the building to iron pillars and girders, then accentuated its industrial character by adding checker plate flooring and road bollards. He created what Saville described as an "industrial entertainment zone" which became the blueprint for the warehouse parties of the late 1980s and for 1990s super clubs, such as Cream in Liverpool and London's Ministry of Sound."


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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