Were you delusional for thinking that graphic design is a forum for personal expression or not? “Record covers gave me uncompromised freedom and an incredibly large audience to speak to. And it influenced that audience, for better or worse.”

At least Peter Saville did what so many of us did – to extrapolate from his quotation a bit, he lay on his bed, arranged graphical works on the floor, and spent all afternoon looking at them. (What exact works? A Letraset catalogue? U&lc? A double-page spread of a mansion with a Jaguar parked on its U-shaped driveway? Kids have more of this available to them than ever, except they can’t lie face-down on the bed and look at the computer.) “ ‘I was on my own version of the Grand Tour,’ he explains. ‘My education began by staring at Roxy Music LP covers and listening to Kraftwerk… Suddenly I wanted to know about modernism, the Bauhaus, classicism, the Renaissance, typography, filmmakers, photographers.’ ”

And something else I can relate to: “ ‘Am I a millionaire?’ He pauses for a moment, as though to check. ‘Well, back in January I did my accounts, and for the financial year 2005–2006 I earned £53,000 – that was my taxable income…. I don’t own a property. I owned one briefly…. I just about break even in my earnings; I’m only just getting to the point where I’m solvent. Between 1985 and 2005, I never settled into an ad agency or a large design firm’ ” – well, that’s not entirely accurate; he’s really leaning on the meaning of “settled into” here – “ ‘or owned a big successful design company of my own. That’s why I don’t have any money. […]

“ ‘People ask me, ‘What do you think of Coldplay?’ I have no opinion of Coldplay. I’m 50. I didn’t ask my dad what he thought of Roxy Music.’ ” His opinion should be “The cover of X&Y is a direct copy of my style.” Even Adrian Shaughnessy agrees.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.06.03 18:00. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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