Here's a simple DL invitation from 1982. I seem to recall that I used to knock out stuff like this almost on a daily basis. And I was lucky to be able to get away with such a simple concept on this one.
But look how 1980s it looks (at least to me). The white border for a start. It seems that everying I did in the early eighties had a 5mm white border. Maybe it was just fashion. Or maybe it was because printers would charge (a lot) extra for anything that bled off the page. Why? Because they could, probably.
And then there's the typography. You wouldn't think that one word could say so much. But only to a typographer.
And another sign of its times: this was an invitation to a 'Taste of England Crunch' on board the frigate HMS Londonderry in Nice Harbour. Needless to say, I wasn't invited to the event myself.
Sometime in the mid-1980s I designed a leaflet for the English Tourist Board (I designed lots and lots of leaflets for the English Tourist Board in the 1980s). This particular leaflet was called 'Favourite Walks'. I haven't found the leaflet yet, but I have found some artwork - including the illustration for the front cover:
But the thing was I'd done a cover design visual by adapting an illustration that I'd discovered somewhere - it was by a cartoonist called Joe. And the client didn't like this new illustration by Kipper - she much preferred the one done by Joe that was on the mock-up. And so I had to track down Joe and commission him instead:
So this is the one that ended up on the front cover. And I guess the client was right (actually, perhaps the client is always right). What do you think?
This is one of those things that I can't remember doing. 1969-70 was the final year of our graphic design course, and there were 15 people that I shared a studio with. And I photographed them all.
And what strikes me over 40 years on? Well, just how 'English' they all were. And how many of them smoked - including many of those who aren't smoking here. That was a bug that never bit me. I wasn't born to be a smoker. But, looking at these again now, I just wonder how much the cigarettes were shields - something to hide behind and disguise their insecurities.
And the surprises? Well, that they all agreed to be photographed - even though they wouldn't all acknowledge the camera. But more surprising than that is that I have absolutely no recollection of two of them (one male, one female).
I'd like to tell you that I could name them all, but I can't. And for only two could I give you both their christian and surnames. And those two, I guess, were my best friends at the time.
But we all moved on. I wonder what happened to them all. And what stories they may have to tell.
Who knows? They may even be looking at themselves on this post right now.
Here they (or you) are - in no particular order:
And in case you're wondering: what's with the double exposure? That's what the inside of his head was like.
I told you last week that I've been having a bit of a clear out. It's stuff that's been hidden away in the attic for years. Stuff that has no other purpose but to remind me of where I've been and what I've done. And most of this batch seems to consist of either college work or artwork and print samples from the 1980s. What surprises me, looking back, is just how productive I was. Or how productive I had to be - which is probably more like it.
And the other surprise is that there are things in there that I can't even remember doing.
Anyway, most of this stuff is now on it's way to the recycling facility. It's pointless keeping hold of it any longer. But so that it doesn't completely disappear without trace I'm going to post a few things up here. Which at least will mean that they continue to live on for a little while longer.
So let me introduce you now to my very first 'proper' professional assignment - a little leaflet for what was then British Rail. And the story is this: I didn't design this. I just artworked it. And only for the money.
You see, I left college on a Friday and (you'll be astounded at this) I already had my first two jobs lined up for me, the first of which started the following Monday. (I told you about those jobs, or at least the buildings they were in, here and here.)
One of my college lecturers was off on holiday at the end of term, and therefore asked me to artwork this freelance job that he'd been working on, and to deliver it to the British Rail production office on the Monday morning. Which I was pleased to do. The money was good. And I remain grateful for that.
And the moral of this story? Well, you may very well have your sights set on a black pencil, but sometimes it's necessary to do this job for nothing other than the money. And that's OK.
But not all the time - that would be soul destroying.
We've been having a bit of a clear out of the attic. And we've unpacked a whole load work samples. Including this font, which I designed in 1973 (and therefore all drawn by hand). It never got to see the light of day, though.
And to think I was living in Manchester at the time. If only I'd stayed there for the next 30 years I could have sold it to Oasis.