The Graphic Design of Peter Saville

"Saville's method, then as now, lies in fixing on a style or look slightly ahead of popular taste. He achieves the sort of ambiguity and complexity of resonance more usually associated with art," writes Rick Poynor in his essay.

The legendary cover of the New Order single Blue Monday (1983) and the sleeve of the Joy Division album Unknown Pleasures (1979), were to bring the Manchester graphic designer Peter Saville worldwide renown. Using a reduced, Modernist style Peter Saville has made key innovations in the field of visual communications, and in recent times he has had a profound effect on the interplay between art, design and advertising.

Born in Manchester in 1955, Saville was brought up in the affluent suburb of Hale. Having been introduced to graphic design with his friend Malcolm Garrett by Peter Hancock, their sixth form art teacher, Saville decided to study graphics at Manchester Polytechnic from 1974 to 1978. At the time Saville was obsessed by bands like Kraftwerk and Roxy Music, but Garrett encouraged him to discover the work of early modern movement typographers such as Herbert Bayer and Jan Tschichold. He found their elegantly ordered aesthetic more appealing than the anarchic style of punk graphics. Tschichold was the inspiration for Saville’s first commercial project, the 1978 launch poster for The Factory, a club night run by a local TV journalist Tony Wilson whom he had met at a Patti Smith gig. Having long admired the ‘found’ motorway sign on the cover of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, the first album he bought for himself, Saville based the Factory poster on a found object of his own – an industrial warning sign he had stolen from a door at college. [Ler mais...]