seems like a massive statement to make, but the influence that the
look of Factory and Saville's subsequent work has had on the world
of corporate graphic design, the world of logo and brand, is probably
even larger than the sound of Factory had on music.
in Hale and a graphic design graduate of Manchester Polytechnic,
Saville's desperation to follow his schoolfriend and Buzzcocks designer
Malcolm Garrett brought him to the door of Tony Wilson in 1978,
who commissioned a poster for his new club night that he was putting
on with Alan Erasmus.
poster arrived late, but the design was so good that it is an image
that still reverberates around Manchester (the now legendary FAC1).
The trio went on to found Factory Records the following year and
Saville moved to London to become art director at Virgin Records
new decade brought the collaboration with Ben Kelly on Factory's
boldest statement, the Haçienda and in 1981, the work for
which Saville would become best known, his New Order projects, begins
favourite cover, New Order's Power,Corruption and Lies from
the mid 80s, both his design within Factory and the wider music
world were being noticed globally, and he was working with mainstream
artists like Peter Gabriel and Wham! He was working for his own
company, but his creative mind was being constrained by music, and
he cast his eye further across popular culture. Alongside the record
sleeves, he was asked to create identities for Edinburgh's Fruitmarket
Gallery, London's Whitechapel Art Gallery and Centre Georges Pompidou's
Magiciens de la Terre exhibition in Paris, and work on campaigns
for Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.
This Is Hardcore (1998)
happy times couldn't last, and by 1991, financial problems had forced
him to close his studios and, as Factory collapsed under massive
debts, Saville tried his luck in America, accepting a position with
Frankfurt Ballard advertising agency that would show him within
12 months how ill-suited he was to the structured world of corporate
brought his 40th birthday and Saville had misgivings about continuing
his work in music. He felt uncomfortable about designing youth oriented
products, like albums and singles, and creatively frustrated by
the limited canvas offered by compact discs. Despite this, he still
produced exciting sleeves for Suede and Pulp.
Painting No. 2 (1998)
his move away from music was accelerating, and he increased his
presence in the fashion world at the turn of the millennium with
consultancies for Givenchy, Pringle, Selfridges and Stella McCartney,
before having the realisation that he had finally become a brand
himself last year.
epiphany has released Saville from his corporate shackles, and while
he continues to design record sleeves, work with fashion designers
and the like, the future will be more about designing for the Peter
Saville collection than designing for anyone else. He says himself
that he is not becoming an artist, but chances are that increasingly,
the place to see Saville's work won't be on a shelf or in a record
shop, but on the walls of a gallery.