Rare 1975 design comes to light

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I am indebted to Melanie de Blank, widow of the late gastronomic pioneer Justin de Blank, for this treasure; a rare copy of a little known Barney Bubbles design, the recipe booklet Feasts by Victor Gordon.

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Bubbles worked alongside Justin de Blank at Terence Conran’s design studio in the mid-60s and was regular commissioned when the central London-based restaurateur and purveyor of fine foods set up on his own.

Feasts was published in 1975 as a guide to seasonal British recipes. It was printed in sections of olive green, light yellow and pale blue on wove, the same paper stock Bubbles used for his design a couple of years earlier for the sleeve of the Chilli Willi And The Red Hot Peppers’ album Kings Of The Robot Rhythm.

The idiosyncratic Victor Gordon chose to use the Julian calendar, which was replaced by the Gregorian in the 1580s, and the endpapers and illustrations  – by Bubbles with contributions from British counter-cultural cartoonist Edward Barker – enhanced the arts and crafts feel with decorated drop capitals introducing each chapter, woodcuts and depictions of rural harmony, stained-glass windows, etc.

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//February.//

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Bubbles produced a delightful series of monthly demarcations in the style of cross-stitch patterns; these are similar in execution to a sticker he produced in the same period for Chilli Willi.

An illustration of clouds emitting thunderbolts chimes with another contemporary Bubbles design, the lightning logo for the rock magazine Let It Rock  – for more about that commission read here.

Read about Barney Bubbles’ working relationship with Justin de Blank here.

Read the obituaries of Victor Gordon here and of Edward Barker here.

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