Peter Saville

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Peter Jeremy Saville
Born October 9, 1955 (1955-10-09) (age 53)
Manchester, England
Occupation graphic designer
Known for Design of record sleeves

Peter Saville (born 9 October 1955 in Manchester)[1] is an English graphic designer based in London.[2]

Saville attended St Ambrose College. He studied graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic (later Manchester Metropolitan University) from 1975 to 1978.


[edit] Factory Records

Peter Saville is famous for the design of record sleeves for Factory Records artists, most notably for Joy Division and New Order.

Influenced by a fellow student, Malcolm Garrett, who had begun designing for the Manchester punk group, the Buzzcocks, and by Herbert Spencer's Pioneers of Modern Typography, Saville was inspired by Jan Tschichold, chief propagandist for the New Typography. According to Saville: "Malcolm had a copy of Herbert Spencer's Pioneers of Modern Typography. The one chapter that he hadn't reinterpreted in his own work was the cool, disciplined "New Typography" of Tschichold and its subtlety appealed to me. I found a paralled in it for the New Wave that was evolving out of Punk."[3] [2]

Saville entered the music scene after meeting Tony Wilson, the journalist and television presenter, whom he approached at a Patti Smith show in 1978. This resulted in Wilson commissioning the first Factory Records poster (FAC 1). Saville became a partner of Factory Records along with Wilson, Rob Gretton and Alan Erasmus.

Saville's album design for Joy Division's last album, Closer, released shortly after Ian Curtis's suicide in May 1980, was controversial[4] in its depiction of Christ's body entombed. However, the design pre-dated Curtis' death, a fact which rock magazine the New Musical Express was able to confirm, since it had been displaying proofs of the artwork on its walls for several months.[5]

Saville's output from this period included reappropriation from art and design. Design critic Alice Twemlow wrote: " the 1980s... he would directly and irreverently "lift" an image from one genre—art history for example—and recontextualize it in another. A Fantin-Latour "Roses" painting in combination with a colour-coded alphabet became the seminal album cover for New Order's Power, Corruption and Lies (1983), for example." [6]

In the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People based on Tony Wilson and the history of Factory Records, Saville is portrayed by actor Enzo Cilenti. [7] His reputation for missing deadlines is comically highlighted in the film.

[edit] Work beyond Factory Records

In 1979, Saville moved from Manchester to London and became art director of the Virgin offshoot, DinDisc. He subsequently created a body of work which furthered his refined take on Modernism, working for artists such as Roxy Music, Duran Duran, Wham! and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Saville founded the design agency Peter Saville Associates (still designing primarily for musical artists and record labels) before he was invited to close his office in 1990 to join the partner-owned Pentagram, one of the most respected and very few truly multidisciplinary design consultancies/agencies in the world - but was ousted due to insufficient turnover and project sales.

In 1993, Saville left London and moved to Los Angeles and joined the ad agency Frankfurt Balkind with his longterm collaborator Brett Wickens.[6] Saville soon returned to London.[6] For a brief period, he founded The Apartment for the German advertising agency Meiré & Meiré from his modernist apartment in Mayfair that also doubled as the London offices of the agency.[6] (The same apartment is depicted in the record sleeve of Pulp's album This Is Hardcore). The Apartment produced works for clients such as Mandarina Duck and Smart Car before he returned to freelance under his own name and consider other collaborations (including John Warwicker at the Soho based Tomato). In 1999, Saville moved to offices in Clerkenwell to re-start Peter Saville Associates (later renamed Saville Parris Wakefield)

Saville grew in demand as a younger generation of people in advertising and fashion had grown up with his work for Factory Records. He reached a creative and a commercial peak with design consultancy clients such as Selfridges, EMI and Pringle. Other significant commissions came from the field of fashion. Saville's fashion clients include(d) Jil Sander, Martine Sitbon, John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto, Christian Dior and Stella McCartney. Saville often worked in collaboration with his long time friend, fashion photographer Nick Knight. The two launched an art and fashion website SHOWstudio in November 2000. Notably the Belgian fashion designer, Raf Simons was granted full access to the archives of Peter Saville's vintage Factory projects and made a personal selection of Saville-designed works to integrate them into Raf Simon's "Closer" Autumn/Winter 2003-4 collection.

[edit] Exhibition, book and soundtrack

Saville's reclaimed status and contribution to graphic design was firmly established when London's Design Museum exhibited his body of work in 2003. Due to his notorious bad luck in following deadlines, he was never approached by the museum for the exhibition's marketing materials. The exhibition, called The Peter Saville Show was open from 23 May 2003 through 14 September 2003. [3] A book by Rick Poynor, Designed by Peter Saville, accompanied the exhibition. The Peter Saville Show Soundtrack for the exhibition was performed and recorded by New Order, and was available to early visitors to the exhibition.

[edit] Selected record and CD covers by Saville

[edit] External links

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Peter Saville
  2. ^ Peter Saville / Designing Modern Britain - Design Museum Exhibition : - Design/Designer Information
  3. ^ Eye, Number 17, Volume 5, Summer 1995.
  4. ^ Johnson, Mark: "An Ideal For Living: An History of Joy Division", page 64. Proteus Books, 1984.
  5. ^ Johnson, Mark: "An Ideal For Living: An History of Joy Division", page 64. Proteus Books, 1984.
  6. ^ a b c d [1] AIGA article The Dark Prince by Alice Twemlow
  7. ^ IMDb Profile
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