Peter Saville (graphic designer)

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Peter Saville
Peter Saville at i realize 2009, Turin.jpg
Peter Saville at i realize 2009, Turin
Born (1955-10-09) 9 October 1955 (age 62)
Manchester, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Occupation Art director, graphic designer
Known for

Design of record

and CD covers.

Peter Saville (born 9 October 1955) is an English art director and graphic designer. He came to prominence for the many record sleeves he designed for Factory Records, which he co-founded in 1978 alongside Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus.[1]

Early life[edit]

Peter Saville was born in Manchester, Lancashire,[2] and attended St Ambrose College. He studied graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic from 1975 to 1978.

Saville became involved in the music scene after meeting Tony Wilson, the journalist and broadcaster. The meeting resulted in Wilson commissioning the first Factory poster (FAC 1). Saville was a partner in Factory Records along with Wilson, Martin Hannett, Rob Gretton and Alan Erasmus.

Factory Records[edit]

Peter Saville designed many record sleeves for Factory artists, most notably for Joy Division and New Order.

Influenced by fellow student Malcolm Garrett, who had begun designing for the Manchester punk group, 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 parallel in it for the New Wave that was evolving out of Punk."[1][3]

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

Saville's output from this period included re-appropriation from the canon of art and design. Design critic Alice Twemlow wrote: "... in the 1980s ... he would directly and irreverently "lift" an image from one genre—art history for example—and recontextualise 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 & Lies (1983), for example."[5]

In the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, which is based on Tony Wilson and the history of Factory Records, Saville is portrayed by actor Enzo Cilenti.[6] His reputation for missing deadlines[7] is comically highlighted in the film.

Non-Factory work[edit]

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, producing work for artists such as Roxy Music, Wham!, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Ultravox and Peter Gabriel. He was paid more to design Gabriel's 1986 album So than for any other record sleeve in his career; he received £20,000.[8] Saville founded the design agency Peter Saville Associates (still designing primarily for musical artists and record labels), which included Brett Wickens, before he was invited to close his office in 1990 to join the partner-owned Pentagram. Saville collaborated with Transport for Greater Manchester in 2008 for the re-branding of the Metrolink tram system with its now synonymous yellow and silver polka-dot scheme after a period of significance expansion on the network.[9]

Work after Factory Records[edit]

In 1993 Saville left London and moved to Los Angeles, to join ad agency Frankfurt Balkind with Brett Wickens. Saville soon returned to London, however, where he asked designer Howard Wakefield to restart the design studio. For three years they worked from "The Apartment" in partnership with German advertising agency Meiré & Meiré. Saville's modernist apartment in Mayfair doubled as the London studio. (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. In 1999 Saville moved to offices in Clerkenwell.

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 have included Jil Sander, John Galliano, Yohji Yamamoto, Christian Dior, Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein [10] Saville often worked in collaboration with longtime friend, fashion photographer Nick Knight. The two launched the art and fashion website SHOWstudio in November 2000. Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons was granted full access to the archives of Saville's vintage Factory projects and made a personal selection of Saville-designed works to integrate them into Raf Simons "Closer" Autumn/Winter 2003-04 collection. Raf Simons Spring/Summer 2018 collection also features a selection of archival works by Saville.

In 2004 Saville became Creative Director of the City of Manchester, playing a strategic role in the regeneration and cultural renaissance of his home city, notably defining the ethos for the Manchester International Festival.

In 2010 Saville designed the England football team home shirt.[11]

Saville has three D&AD awards, is a Royal Designer for Industry and won the London Design Medal in 2013.

In 2012 Saville collaborated with Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh in celebration of their centenary to create a large scale tapestry of his work After, After Monarch of the Glen. This new tapestry commission is Dovecot Studios re appropriation of Peter Saville's appropriation of Sir Peter Blake's appropriation of Sir Edwin Landseer's 1851 painting Monarch of the Glen.

In 2018, Saville redesigned the logo for British luxury fashion house Burberry, as revealed by then creative director Riccardo Tisci.

Exhibition, book and soundtrack[edit]

Saville's reclaimed status and contribution to graphic design were firmly established when London's Design Museum exhibited his body of work in 2003. The exhibition, The Peter Saville Show, was open from 23 May through 14 September 2003.[12] A book published by Frieze, 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.

Swing Project[edit]

Anna Blessmann and Peter Saville met in a gallery in Berlin in 2001 and soon began an artwork collaboration, works have been shown at Paul Stolper Gallery London, CRAC Alsace, Migros Museum Zurich, Whitechapel London and in various publications.

In 2010 they presented ‘Swing Project 1’ in the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims and in 2012 ‘Swing Project 2’ at Galerie Neu, Berlin. In 2013 they participated in the Fiorucci Art Trust ‘Volcano Extravaganza’, Stromboli. In 2014 they exhibited ‘Swing Project 3’ at the Cabinet Gallery, London.


Selected record and CD covers by Saville[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Peter Saville". Design Museum. 
  2. ^ "Peter Saville". 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Eye, Number 17, Volume 5, Summer 1995
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Mark: "An Ideal For Living: An History of Joy Division", page 64. Proteus Books, 1984
  5. ^ The Dark Prince, Alice Twemlow
  6. ^ Peter Saville on IMDb
  7. ^ Peter Saville Archived 3 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Icon Magazine, July/August 2003
  8. ^ "Peter Saville Talk - Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 25 April 2005". Cerysmatic Factory. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Metrolink identity and livery by Hemisphere, 2008". The Guardian. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  10. ^ Craven, Jo (11 May 2011). "Who's Who: Clements Ribeiro". Vogue. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Factory Records designer Peter Saville creates new England football shirt". NME. 
  12. ^ "Previous Exhibitions". Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. 

External links[edit]