The Factory Records Poster Collection

Commercial art has always plundered from ‘real’, ‘legitimate’ art, and in particluar, the diversity that Modernism represented
— Rob O'Connor – Designer for Blur and more

I thought i'd begin my blog page by showcasing a collection of posters designed for Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub. In essence, these posters, and the designers who created them, are the reason I decided to study graphic design. Even after all these years I still use their work as a huge source of inspiration for what I do. Guys like Peter Saville, Hamish Muir and Malcolm Garrett are leaders in the field of graphic design, especially graphic design for the music industry. The popularity of the bands these guys designed for, mixed with hand-crafted style and the cleverness of what they created, has elevated their work to iconic status. As iconic, to many, as Milton Glaser's I Love NY logo or Wyman's Mexico '86 artwork. The work pays homage to the aesthetic of modernist design; including the work Jan Tschichold, Muller-Brockmann and Fortunato Depero. These are timeless pieces of British graphic design history, inspired by the past, but relevant to a new, exciting era and movement.

To a generation, the artwork for Factory Records is a reminder of a cultural shift in British society. A time when Acid House and Rave culture exploded – just as Punk did in the 70's – giving a disillusioned youth something to look forward to under the bleak Thatcher government. We don't see much of that these days, everything now is formulated and too easily obtained – Spotify etc. The period when these designs were created was a time when a record label could literally change society. Perhaps these posters are so good because (to a person of a certain age) they are a reminder of how things used to be? Rose tinted glasses, anyone?
The most important thing though... they are beautiful.