Alan Aldridge is an English artist, graphic designer and illustrator.
Aldridge first worked as an illustrator at "The Sunday Times Magazine.'' After doing some freelance book covers for Penguin Books, he was hired in March 1965 by Penguin's chief editor Tony Godwin to become the art director of Penguin Books. Over the next two years as art director, he especially focused on science fiction book covers and introduced his style which resonated with the mood of the time. In 1968 he moved to his own graphic-design firm, INK, which became closely involved with graphic images for the Beatles and Apple Corps.
During the 1960s and 1970s he was responsible for a great many album covers, and helped create the graphic style of that era. He designed a series of science fiction book covers for Penguin Books. He made a big impression with his illustrations for the Beatles Illustrated Song lyrics. He also provided illustrations for "The Penguin Book of Comics", a history of British and American comic art. His work was characterised by a flowing, cartoony style and soft airbrushing - very much in step with the psychedelic styles of the times. In the theatre, in February 1969 he designed the graphics for controversial Jane Arden play Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven at the London Arts Laboratory, Drury Lane.
He is possibly best known, however, for the picture book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast (1973), a series of illustrations of anthropomorphic insects and other creatures, which he created in collaboration with William Plomer, who wrote the accompanying verses. This was based on William Roscoe's poem of the same name, but was inspired when Aldridge read that John Tenniel had told Lewis Carroll it was impossible to draw a wasp in a wig.
Honours and awards
"Aldridge was the 'Guv'nor'...........no one comes close to matching his influence on illustration in the 20th Century!....." -Sir John Betjeman - Times Literary Review. 1975
Nicknamed himself The Man with the Kaleidoscope Eyes after the song by The Beatles.
Was known in the sixties and seventies as the Graphic entertainer.
- Cover for Boswell's London Journal 1762-1763 ed. Frederick Pottle, published by Penguin (1966)
- Cover design for A Quick One by The Who (1966)
- Poster for Andy Warhol and Paul Morrisey's film Chelsea Girls (1966)
- Covers for Penguin Science Fiction books (1967)
- The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (US, Houghton Mifflin; UK, MacDonald Unit 75, 1969) editor, select illustrations
- "Ann In The Moon" (1970), with story by Frances D. Francis
- The Penguin Book Of Comics (1971), with George Perry, published by Penguin Books
- Famous "Hard Rock Cafe" logo (1971).
- The Ship's Cat (1977), with verses by Richard Adams.
- The Peacock Party (1979) and The Lion's Cavalcade (1980), sequels to The Butterfly Ball, based on anonymous sequels to Roscoe's version, both illustrated in collaboration with Harry Wilcock, and with verses by George E. Ryder and Ted Walker respectively.
- Phantasia: Of Docklands, Rocklands and Dodos (1981), illustrated in collaboration with Harry Wilcock
- The Gnole (1999), with Steve Boyett and Maxine Miller.
- He is also credited for Art Direction and Illustration on Light Grenades (2006), the 6th Studio album for Incubus (band).
Aldridge, Alan, The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes, Thames & Hudson, 2008, 240p, ISBN 978-0-500-09342-9
Aldridge, Alan, The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Art of Alan Aldridge, Abrams Books, 2009, 240p, ISBN 978-0-8109-0596-2
- Alan Aldridge on BBC's Man Alive: Top Class People (also interviews with Sandie Shaw and Twiggy, broadcast 10 May 1967 on BBC2)
- Artist profile on the Palazzo website
- Bio of Saffron Aldridge
- "The Art of Penguin Science Fiction".
- "Palazzo : Artist & Author Profiles : Latest Profiles : Alan Aldridge". New York Times. September 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
- "Alan Aldridge". Design Museum. 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
- Alan Aldridge in The Times on October 12, 2008
- http://art.bradley.edu/bug/?p=664 Alan Aldridge lectures in Bradley University Galleries]
- Costa Book Awards
- "Man Alive 10 May 1967". BBC. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-31.[dead link]
- Official website
- Picture of Alan Aldridge @ The Design Museum
- "Alan Aldridge - The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes". Dexigner. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
- "Alan Aldridge – The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes at Design Museum - Museums & Attractions - Time Out London". Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
- Alan Aldridge's science fiction covers for Penguin Books.
- Alan Aldridge agent website