Favourite album art

A new wave of sensitivity.

The use of herbal gratification was a daily occurrence in North West England. The Hacienda in Manchester was in full bloom and all over the UK people were raving like society had never seen before. And The Stone Roses had just played Spike Island down the road from where I lived. I would spend a lot of time, wasting my time inside acquaintances dull bedrooms listening to music, but the music was a revelation. Hearing Stop Making Sense for the first time was really fresh and Hatful of Hollow and in particular Jonny Marr’s guitar playing. It was so rich...

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Giancarlo Ricci in Liverpool

Out of reach but never out of mind.

On Saturday’s I would visit Anfield stadium in Liverpool and stand on the Spion Kop, a place named after the Bore war battle on a hill in South Africa. Before the match I would take a look in the clothes shops around the city centre. I would always call in to Wade Smith which had the best collection of trainers anywhere in the UK. Stocking Adidas Trimm Trab and Nike fucking Wally Waffle, ‘was this a joke’ i thought. And they also stocked hard to find Tracksuits by the likes of Australian and Cerruti 1881. My last port of call...

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North American soccer logos

Great graphics and great curves.

Football became a prominent part of my day to day existence and I gravitated towards it’s heraldry. I aquired some books at the time which were much more graphically stimulating than those in my native England. The North American Soccer League didn’t have much promotion in the early days, but they understood the language of branding. The team logos were fun and colourful and their use of typography was really expressive and exciting. On Saturday afternoons, my parents would go out and I would do as they suggested, which was to draw. Nothing in the house much interested me, some...

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Helmut Newton and Dior

The glamour of Dior and power dressing.

I used to spend a lot of time walking to school and waving to my classmates as they waved from their parents cars, beating me into class. On the way I would make the decision to either cross the railway line or climb the muddy embankment to cross the bridge. I decided to alternate the route each day to keep things interesting. The railway always provided a sense of danger and a mild dose of corporate branding from the chugging British rail trains heading into Lime street Station in Liverpool. The railway line was always strewn with random objects like...

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Versace, Dior and Helmut Newton

Unattainable and irresistable.

It led to a fascination with the beauty and attraction of femininity and later the admiration of Helmut Newton’s powerful females. And Robert Palmers female guitar players in ‘Addicted to Love’. Such a simple video but was so electrifying to watch. The models had strong faces with equally strong make-up, short and greased Black hair, powder white faces and red glossy lips. It was this simple strength that became the making of Gianni Versace when his first ‘super model’ collection hit the media headlines. Amazonian women, sharp cut dresses in strong colours made even more powerful in front of the...

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Iconic album art

Iconic art direction.

On the other side of femininity was an interest in Heavy metal, as some of the older lads around me wore denim jackets with nicely embroidered typography stitched along the shoulders. They also had a heavy smell of Patchouli oil. But it was the typography that had a lasting impression on me and I think some of the best designed sleeves were done around this period. They were so iconic and arresting. Some of my favourites are here.

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