Archive for the ‘Album artwork’ Category

Ian Lynam pays tribute to the genius of Barney Bubbles

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

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A film of a recent celebration of Barney Bubbles’ work by American graphic designer Ian Lynam is now available to view online.

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Presenting his paper at Vermont College Of Fine Arts, Tokyo-based Lynam investigated Bubbles’ importance in the development of visual communications.

Describing Bubbles as “a profound influence” on subsequent generations of practitioners, Lynam drew comparisons between Bubbles and the Japanese designer Tadanori Yokoo.

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Lynam also acknowledged his own debt to my championing of Bubbles’ work, along with that of British design authority Rick Poynor (who commissioned the first substantial overview for the UK’s Eye magazine in 1992).

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View Lynam’s talk to VCFA students here.

Lynam’s article The Genius Of Graphics Designer Barney Bubbles was published by Red Bull Music Academy here.

Visit Tadanori Yokoo’s website here and Ian Lynam’s here.

Read Julia Thrift’s 1992 piece on Bubbles for Eye here.

Barney Bubbles lines up with the greats with a clutch of works in MoMA’s 2014 diary

Thursday, February 27th, 2014


Barney Bubbles is included among the greats of 20th Century art, design and photography in the handsome 2014 appointments calendar issued by New York’s Museum Of Modern Art.


//Poster for The Damned’s album Damned Damned Damned, Stiff Records, 1977. (C) Barney Bubbles Estate//



//Litho print of variant of front cover design for Do It Yourself by Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Stiff Records, 1979. (C) Barney Bubbles Estate//



//Elvis Costello poster for Lives Stiffs tour, 1977. (C) Barney Bubbles Estate.//

The ring-bound calendar includes illustrations of work by such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Ferdinand Léger as well as designs by Shin Matsunaga, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser and Ralf Winkler.

MoMA has selected three Bubbles works from its collection: posters for the 1977 Live Stiffs tour and The Damned’s debut album and a litho print of one of the variants of his design for Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ 1979 Do It Yourself LP.


//Back cover of MoMA’s 2014 calendar, designed by Adam&Co//

There are 10 Bubbles designs in MoMA’s permanent collection, donated by the prominent New York art collector Lawrence Benenson. View them here.

Barney Bubbles, July 30 1942 – November 14 1983: A celebration in rare and previously unpublished images and artworks

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

//Barney Bubbles with poster/programme for Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ Armed Forces tour, west London, 1979. Photo courtesy Chalkie Davies//

In celebration of the creative legacy of Barney Bubbles – who died on this day 30 years ago – here is a selection of rare and previously unpublished images and artworks.


//Drawing of Odeon cinema facade, Richmond, south-west London from early 60s student sketchbook. © Barney Bubbles Estate//


//Credit to “the magnificent Barney Bubbles”, Oz 38, 1972//


//Ident for Kevin Coyne’s 1973 LP Marjory Razorblade. © Barney Bubbles Estate//


//Photobooth shot from Stiff Records day out, 1977//


//Bubbles (left) with Suzanne Spiro, Jake Riviera, Cynthia Lole, Paul Conroy and Dez Brown at Stiff Records offices, from Melody Maker, August 6, 1977. Photo: Barry Plummer//


//Single sleeve proofs for Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ giveaway 45 Talking In The Dark/Wednesday Week, December 1978//



//FBeat Records letterhead, 1980//


//Profile, pen and ink on art board, 1983. © Barney Bubbles Estate//


//Profile, pen and ink on art board, 1983. © Barney Bubbles Estate//


//Pen and ink on art board. The sparkplug, along with the lightbulb, was one of the recurring motifs of Bubbles’ later work. © Barney Bubbles Estate//

Read here for recent examples of Bubbles’ pervasive influence.


From here to hear: Design for Keith Allen’s unreleased pirate radio station album

Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Front, Programme 1 by Station BPR, the unreleased pirate radio album by Keith Allen. Design: Barney Bubbles. 1983.

//12" x 12" proof, front cover, Programme 1, 1983.//

Programme 1 was to be the second release on Utility, the label launched by music business manager Peter Jenner (Ian Dury, Pink Floyd etc) through Charisma in 1983.

As detailed here, the album purporting to be a broadcast by London pirate radio station BPR was conceived and performed by Keith Allen with appearances by others including the late actor David Rappaport.


Kate Moross’s fabulous video triptych at White Noise

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Kate Moross's Barney Bubbles Triptych at White Noise in Chaumont, France May 26-June 10.

A popular element of the Barney Bubbles exhibition within the recent graphics/music group show White Noise: Quand Le Graphisme Fait Du Bruit was the cubicle housing designer Kate Moross’s Barney Bubbles video triptych.

Cubicle housing Kate Moross's Barney Bubbles Triptych at White Noise in Chaumont, France May 26-June 10.

Kate Moross's Barney Bubbles Triptych at White Noise in Chaumont, France May 26-June 10.


Situationism: Reality you can rely on

Monday, October 31st, 2011

//Selection of slides from Hawklords projection.//

With the legacy of Situationism the subject of a couple of posts on my blog, it seems timely to point up Barney Bubbles’ inclusion of frames from Christopher Grey’s Leaving The 20th Century: The Incomplete Work Of The Situationist International in his slide-show for Hawkwind’s post-punk offshoot Hawklords.


Five Live Stiffs line up for the first time since 77

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Five Live Stiffs posters designed by Barney Bubbles, photography by Chris Gabrin, 1977.

Posters, each 60" x 40" designed by Barney Bubbles for the October 1977 Stiff Records UK tour Live Stiffs. Photography: Chris Gabrin.

The series of five Live Stiffs posters designed by Barney Bubbles using Chris Gabrin photographs.

Exhibits in Chris Gabrin's exhibition at Dimbola Lodge, Isle Of Wight.

Chris Gabrin’s exhibition From Hear To Photography includes a doozy for Barney Bubbles fans – for the first time since their creation more than three decades ago, Bubbles’ huge Live Stiffs poster designs are displayed together.


Forever Now vinyl gatefold reissue

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011


Next up in Vinyl 180’s reissue campaign is a gatefold version of The Psychedelic Furs’ 1982 album Forever Now.

Like the 2002 reissue, this will utilise Barney Bubbles’ front and back cover designs for the UK release rather than the CBS art department’s lash-up job for the album’s first American manifestation.


Barney Bubbles events at Glastonbury

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Front, fold-out sleeve, Revelations: A Musical Anthology, Revelation Enterprises, 1972. 24" x 36".

This year’s Glastonbury Festival will celebrate the work of Barney Bubbles, who created the extraordinary sleeve for the Glastonbury Fayre triple album set Revelations – A Musical Anthology.

Since 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the Fayre, Bubbles’ biographer Paul Gorman is staging two events at the Festival’s Spirit Of 71 Cafe  to mark the late graphic designer’s involvement with the album, the festival and many of the performers who have played there.


Barney Bubbles Inside Out in 100 seconds

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Barney Bubbles Inside out from Lisa Whitaker on Vimeo.

This 100-second career resume has been created by Lisa Whitaker, who is currently studying graphics at Leeds College of Art.

The DVD – housed in an “inside-out” sleeve and accompanied by a poster – came out of a course brief for a collection of 100 design objects in which she compiled album sleeves, including Bubbles’ design for Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello And The Attractions.

“I am fascinated by this talented man and his links to other creative people,” says Whitaker. “My moving image piece Barney Bubbles Inside Out pulls together the research and is aimed at graphic designers, record collectors and music lovers as a way of spreading the word about inspirational figure.”

Whitaker’s backgrounder on the project is here.