Design 4 Music’s success (and a Heeps Willard connection revealed)

Yesterday’s Design 4 Music symposium was a roaring success, with all tickets selling out and a stellar cast of contributors providing insights into many different aspects of this vast subject.

The closing panel on Barney Bubbles’ legacy proved entertaining and at times revelatory even from my perspective; I lined up with three leading designers: Barney’s one-time colleague Malcolm Garrett and Barney fans Kate Moross and Gerard Saint.

Label detail with band logo, Music for Pleasure, The Damned, Stiff Records, 1977.

Gerard showed off the copy of Music For Pleasure he has owned since he was a 12-year-old punk in Devon (and spotted that Barney extended the design detail to the label). This chimed with Kate since Music For Pleasure was the key which unlocked her appreciation of Barney’s ouevre.

24" x 36" card. Outer foldout sleeve, The Glastonbury Fayre, Revelation, 1972.

And Malcolm displayed some choice designs including Glastonbury Fayre, In Search Of Space and Your Generation, as well as an intriguing art questionnaire filled in by Barney in 1981; he – along with other artists including Peter Blake – had been mailed it by a student friend of Malcolm’s. It’s been promised for the next edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful, which is fab.

Meanwhile an encounter with Andrew Heeps – whose framing company Art Vinyl staged a mini-exhibition – provided yet another example of how Barney connections are every which way.

12in laminated card. Front cover, Walls Have Ears, Blanket Of Secrecy, FBeat, 1982.

Andrew only recently discovered that his grandfather founded construction company Heeps Willard. Wreckless Eric (exclusive interview here) mentioned just the other week that it was an HW sign in Barney’s Islington neighbourhood in the early 80s which provided him with his final – and possibly most charming – nom-de-design, appearing as a credit on releases by Billy Bragg and Blanket Of Secrecy.

Credits, Walls Have Ears, 1982.

“I was knocked out when my dad told me about his father’s company,” said Andrew. “He gave Barney the name and here I am immersed in vinyl and one of Heeps Willard’s biggest fans!”

7" card with foil imprint. Into The Galaxy, Midnight Juggernauts, Isomorph, 2009.

And the day wrapped nicely when the name of our competition winner, illustration student Sarah Jane Griffey (who claims she never wins anything), was plucked for one of the prizes in the draw: a Kate-donated copy of Into The Galaxy by Midnight Juggernauts.

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4 Responses to “Design 4 Music’s success (and a Heeps Willard connection revealed)”

  1. Sarah-Jane Says:

    I DON’T HONESTLY! Thank you again …… see by discovering your blog I’ve found reasons to be cheerful, perhaps you should bottle this. Best Wishes Sarah-jane x

  2. Pol Dodu Says:

    Dear Paul,
    I have either none or two Blanket of Secrecy-related suggestions for your Barney single sleves gallery.
    They came to me tonight while I was listening to a 1979 Polydor new wave compilation called “20 of another kind volume two”.
    It features two tracks co-produced by Roger Bechiran by a band named Twist. The best one, “Ads”, is even supposed to feature guest spots by Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve, I just learnt.
    When I took a close look at the picture sleeves, I thought at least the band logo might be by Barney Bubbles. Then, when I discovered that Twist was Peter’s Marsh project pre-Blanket of Secrecy, I decided I had enough hints to make this submission to you.
    Both single sleeves can be glimpsed on the compilation cover (
    A better image for “This is your life” is at Discogs (
    There is also an album with the same title, but I don’t think I’ve sever seen it.
    What’s your verdict, Paul ?

  3. Paul Gorman Says:

    Hi Pol
    I’ll have a headscratch. Anyone else any ideas/theories?
    Always liked the appearance of the late-period Seditionaries duo-screen Vive Le Rock! tee on the 20 Of Another Kind Sleeve. Very savvy and continuing the tone set by the cover of the first major punk cash-in from 1977 – Vertigo/Phonogram’s New Wave comp (with identipunk gobbing at the camera). Wonder who designed them?

  4. Paul Gorman Says:

    Oh wait – I see that Alwyn Clayden was responsible for the 20OAK Vol 2 sleeve. And now I remember the main reason for purchasing New Wave was for Patti Smith’s Piss Factory which was pretty hard to find on single. Peter Kodick (aka Gravelle) shot the photos for the NW cover – he was responsible for images for a few Barney sleeves: Damned Damned Damned, Bowi EP – and at one stage he and BB were going to set up a company together, but it came to nought.

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