Archive for the ‘Typography’ Category

Comprehensive: The Art Of The Album Cover

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

evans-cover

“How can something so square be so hip?”

Designer Richard Evans sets out to answer this question in the new illustrated history of the 12in album sleeve, The Art Of The Album Cover.

Evans, The Who’s in-house designer for 35 years, provides a comprehensive overview in this glossy hardback which presents many examples of Barney Bubbles’ plundering of the history of record sleeve design for his palette of possibilities: think the crazy lettering and daring mix of photography and graphics of Alex Steinweiss and his 40s brethren Jim Flora and George Maas and, in the 50s,  the work of the cool ruler, Blue Note’s Reid Miles.

evans-stein

evans-blue

evans-rock

evans-warhol

Evans shows how Miles’ admiration for the “blotted line” illustrative work of Andy Warhol in the 50s resulted in gorgeous sleeves for Johnny Griffin and Kenny Burrell, while tribute is paid to the work not just of examplars such as William Claxton and Burt Goldblatt but also the teeming “unknowns” who populated the art departments of (mainly American) record labels in the 50s and 60s.

As design critic Kenneth FitzGerald recently set out in his new collection of essays, Evans recognises that everything changed with The Beatles’ 1963 debut album sleeve by Robert Freeman, setting design for music on the path to Sgt Pepper’s four years later and then onto the 70s boom-time. There are name-checks for all the leading art directors, illustrators, designers and artists, including Cal Schenkel, Neon Park, Kosh, Hipgnosis, Roger Dean and Evans himself as well as Barney Bubbles, whose work Evans deeply admires.

evans-beatles

evans-dead

evans-hipgnosis

evans-barney

“I don’t have enough words of praise for the delightful and brilliant work of Barney Bubbles,” writes Evans. “He was the graphic designer’s graphic designer; a man full of the best ideas executed with great wit and originality.”

With concise sections dedicated to Neville Brody, Peter Saville, Malcolm Garrett and Stylorouge, Evans tracks the familiar tale of the damage done by the shrinkage of the packaging with the rise of the CD and the ultimately restrictive practices wreaked by increased digitisation.

evans-stylo

As in FitzGerald’s Volume, however, the obituary for the vinyl sleeve outlined in Aubrey “Po” Powell‘s introduction (“The art of creating album covers belongs to a bygone age”) looks again to be premature in an era of renewed vigour in the field.

And Evans’ declaration that album sleeve design now resides in CD booklets also seems wrong-footed; the digital format is being rapidly forced down the gurgler by the download generation yet the demand for vinyl – though necessarily much more limited than in it’s heyday – is once again the smart choice.

evans-back

The Art Of The Album Cover is available here.

Michael Tucker and the Brownjohn connection

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

16_logotypes4Minerva Detector Co logo, Michael Tucker, from World Of Logotypes Vol 2 by Al Cooper, 1978.

The most exciting moment in preparing the new edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful arrived at 6 o’clock one morning this summer when I cracked a major mystery surrounding Barney Bubbles’ life and work: the identity of his first full-time employer, the person who Bubbles said taught him “everything about typography”, instilling the rigour which resonated throughout his professional life.

In turn, the trail I uncovered lead me to establish a hitherto unacknowledged connection between Bubbles and one of the greats of graphic design, Robert Brownjohn.

During my research, family, friends and associates had recalled little about Bubbles’ first employer, least of all his name.

While stressing the importance of this mystery figure in his life, Bubbles himself declined to name the individual in his only ever interview (in The Face, published November 1981).

tucker-facequoteFrom Dave Fudger’s interview with Barney Bubbles, The Face, 1981.

So that early morning in June, after years of cross-checking directories and entering any number of search engine variations, I experienced the “Eureka” moment when the name Michael Tucker + Associates popped up halfway down page 6 of Googlebooks.

This chimed not just with an address and phone number I had accessed, but also contemporaneous correspondence in which Bubbles mentioned “M.T.”.

Within hours I had confirmed that this was indeed the commercial art studio where Bubbles (then Colin Fulcher) worked as an assistant between 1963 and 1965 as part of a small team servicing such clients as Pirelli.

And soon I unravelled the whole story, one which has never been published before.

A star graduate of the London College Of Printing, Michael Tucker began his professional life working for British industrial designer Ian Bradbury in the late 50s.

meet2Cover, Meet Yourself As You Really Are, Michael Tucker, Penguin, 1962.

tuckercreditDesign credit, 1962.

tucker-srinner12″ sq inner sleeve, Space Ritual, Hawkwind, UA, 1973.

In 1962, Tucker, then in his early 20s, designed the jacket to Penguin’s reissue of 30s self-help book Meet Yourself As You Really Are.

The geometric arrangement and use of colour aren’t so far removed from Bubbles’ later work, such as the inner sleeve of Hawkwind’s 1973 album Space Ritual.

Around the time of the Penguin book cover, Tucker set up his own practice on the fourth floor of Artists House, at 14-15 Manette Street, the thoroughfare alongside Foyles which connects Charing Cross Road to Greek Street in London’s West End.

ArtistsHouseArtists House, Manette Street, late 60s.

ArtistsHouse08
Artists House adorned by JR, 2008.

Tucker was a stickler, insisting assistants use Graphos architecture pens rather than Rotrings and was dead set against the on-the-rise Helvetica, preferring for the house font the original manifestation, Neue Haas Grotesk, on a German-size body.

“There was also an unspoken rule that we had to wear American button-down shirts,” says Brian Webb, who began his career at Tucker’s in the mid-60s. “Anything not Ivy League was frowned upon.”

Webb – later of Trickett & Webb and now Webb & Webb – remembers Bubbles returning to MT+A from his job at Conran Design for occasional freelance commissions, including the lettering for the poster for director Hugh Hudson‘s 1966 Pirelli-sponsored promotional short The Tortoise & The Hare.

Brownjohn’s credit sequence starts at 1.00.

The film was produced by the powerhouse commercials company operated by Hudson in conjunction with Donald Cammell and Robert Brownjohn (famed for his typographic excellence and design audacity with such triumphs as the title sequence for Goldfinger and the sleeve of The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed).

The Tortoise & The Hare is notable for the opening credits, which Brownjohn designed to appear on moving vehicles.

MikeTucker-D&ADannualdesignD&AD ’66 Annual designed by Michael Tucker. Cover: Aldridge/Klein.

MIchael Tucker Chubb lock booklet
Feature on MT+A’s Chubb booklet, Design, 1971.

Also in 1966, Tucker designed the D&AD Annual (the cover was contributed by Alan Aldridge and Lou Klein), and went on to produce such commercial designs as vinyl labels for Plastic Coatings Ltd as well as logos and booklets for security clients Chubb and Minerva.

Tucker’s work appeared the Graphis Annual 1968-69, Top Symbols And Trademarks Of The World (1973) and World Of Logotypes Vol 2 (1978). By the early 80s he was teaching graphic design at Hong Kong Polytechnic before retiring to focus on his hobby, sailing.

For full details of this and the many other fresh elements in the new edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful – including 60 new images – click here or on one of the ‘buy now’ buttons below for a personalised signed copy at just £18.99 + P&P.


rtbc-cover450


New edition of the Barney Bubbles book out now

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

rtbc-cover450

The enhanced, revised and updated new edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful is published in the UK this week.

With a remixed cover, the fully illustrated 224-page second edition of the acclaimed biography features many new elements.

There are nearly 60 fresh images in the new book: letters, postcards and photographs as well as sketches, designs and finished artwork for record sleeves, posters, stickers, drumheads, etc.

2nd-modspread

2nd-spacespread

Paul Gorman has written a new author’s note and afterword summing up the impact of the first edition, and the commentary now includes a chat with foremost US designer Art Chantry about the relevance of Barney Bubbles’ artistic legacy to contemporary design. The new edition is published in the US in spring 2011.

A host of new contributors have been interviewed, from Wreckless Eric to “Record John” Cowell – Bubbles’ one-time room-mate and the half brother of Simon Cowell.

All chapters have been updated with freshly researched information, including never-previously published facts and quotes about Bubbles’ time at art school and his first full-time job at leading British commercial art studio Michael Tucker + Associates.

2nd-cresspread

2nd-sospread

As an EXCLUSIVE, we are offering signed copies of the new book only from this blog, priced £18.99 plus £5 p&p UK.

Mail for info on postage to continental Europe and rest of world.

To buy your copy click on the button below or visit HERE for details.

rtbc-aimspread

rtbc-lustspread


Process: Chelsea students’ stunning response

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Third-year graphics communications students  at Chelsea have responded to Process with a stunning set of works which formed a mini-exhibition at the college last week.

Course director Geoff Thomas-Shaw’s brief was to create three-dimensional objects in response to the show.

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Mindful of Bubbles’ educational experience working with paper and card as part of a display course at Twickenham School Of Technology in the late 50s and early 60s, Thomas-Shaw’s brief also paid attention to Bubbles’ work in the pre-digital age.

Thus, students were steered towards producing designs “analogue in terms of origination, utilising paper-based materials to reflect the non-dependency of digital influences in Barney Bubbles’ original artwork”.

Recognising some of the designer’s primary concerns, Thomas-Shaw also recommended they consider Bubbles’ use of scale, colour, texture and mode of display.

Chelsea Space director Donald Smith and I are bowled over by the quality and vision of the results.

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

“I’m incredibly impressed by the ways in which the students interpreted the brief; by their skill, wit and dexterity; and also by how well they had seemed to understand the original work,” says Donald Smith. “Their exhibition is impressive in its own right.”

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Process is on until this Saturday (October 23).
Come along and say hi.

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibition of Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles show

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Exhibit from Chelsea art school graphic students reponse to Barney Bubbles exhibition

Photos: Donald Smith.

Blue Genes, Kursaals + Fry’s 5 Boys

Monday, October 4th, 2010

birch-bluegenesDrumhead 1982.

One of the most satisfying aspects of staging Process has been engaging with visitors who knew Barney Bubbles personally.

Film producer Linda Gamble dropped by last week; she worked at Virgin Records in the 70s and 80s and knew Bubbles via her then-boyfriend Will Birch.

Touchingly, Linda brought a thank-you note Bubbles sent her and Birch in 1982 for a record player they had given him. The note – in an envelope proclaiming “Bring Back The Birch” – accompanied a painted drumhead which Bubbles suggested could either be used in performance or placed on the wall as an artwork.

“I kept this note all these years because Barney was such a great guy,” says Linda.

Barney---bring-back-the-bir

As detailed in Reasons To Be Cheerful, around this time Birch commissioned sleeve designs for his band The Records as well as a cover for a compilation of tracks by his previous outfit Kursaal Flyers. While working together he and Bubbles had entertained themselves by creating an imaginary beat group, The Blue Genes.

In his note, Bubbles recommended referring to Merseybeat or Andrew Lauder (who had reissued such gems as The Merseybeats’ Beat & Ballads via F-Beat’s catalogue wing Edsel).

chocsa

12″ sleeve. Front cover, Chocs Away, Kursaal Flyers, UK Records, 1975.

chocsb

Back cover, Chocs Away, Kursaal Flyers, UK Records, 1975.

chocsdetails

Credit details, back cover, Chocs Away.

frys

Left: Fry’s packaging, 1968. Right: Fry’s 5 Boys 1902.

Birch first met Bubbles in 1975, when the designer produced the sleeve for Kursaal Flyers’ debut album Chocs Away.

Developing the chocolate aeroplane theme of the cover, Bubbles cast the five Kursaals on the back as variations of Fry’s 5 Boys (who appeared on the confectionery company’s packaging from 1902 until a marketing overhaul the year after Chocs Away’s release).

For his credit, Bubbles chose “Grove Lane”, after the street/neighbourhood where Kursaals’ manager Paul Conroy shared a flat with photographer Adrian Boot.

By the early 80s, the designs for Music On Both Sides, In For A Spin and their attendant singles captured Bubbles during his final reductive phase, relying on repetition of primary shapes and restricted palettes.

Thus The Records designs centred on jukebox lozenges and stars, while that for In For A Spin arose from a visit of Birch’s to Bubbles’ studio in January 1983.  “The title came out of a discussion I had with Barney,” says Birch. “I remember him alternating between sketches of a ‘spin dryer’ and aeroplane propellers,  as in ‘taking a plane up for a spin.”

birch-musica

12″ sleeve. Front cover, Music On Both Sides, The Records, Virgin, 1982.

birch-musicb

Back cover, Music On Both Sides, The Records, Virgin, 1982.

birch-imitationa

7″ sleeve. Front cover, Imitation Jewellery, The Records, Virgin, 1982.

Birch-KursaalA

12in sleeve. Front cover, In For A Spin, Kursaal Flyers, Line, 1983.

birch-radioa

7″ sleeve. Front cover, Radio Romance, Kursaal Flyers, Line, 1983.

Thanks to Linda Gamble for bringing in the note and providing us with an opportunity to present yet more fantastic designs which we were unable to include in Process.

The show is on for another three weeks (until October 23), open Tues-Sat, 11am-5pm.

More photos from the Process private view

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

PV-iew-from-the-Parade-Grou.

Courtesy of Chelsea Space director Donald Smith, here are some more photos underlining what fun was had at last week’s private view for Process. These and others will soon appear on the Chelsea Space site.

PV---Cynthia-Lole,-Caz-Face.

Video commissioner Cynthia Lole, Caz Facey, writer Nick Vivian and Jake Riviera view the exhibits.

PV-Donald-Smith-with-Chris-.

Donald Smith with writer Chris Salewicz and Jerry Dammers.

PV--designer-Olaf-parker-wi

Designer Olaf Parker with writer/curator Paul Gorman.

PV-Dreadzone's-Leo-Williams

Musician Leo Williams with Paprika and Leo Junior.

PV-Humphrey-Ocean-next-to-a

Painter and former Kilburn & The High Roads member Humphrey Ocean with the 1977 Psstt! ad featuring himself and Ian Dury.

PV-Jake-Riviera-talks-with-

Jake Riviera, music publisher Peter Barnes, Mick Jones and Nick Vivian.

PV-Kate-Moross's-Vj-team

Kate Moross and her VJing team.

PV-Michael-Barnett-and-Bruc

Clothier Lloyd Johnson whispers to arts event organiser Michael Barnett while musician Bruce Marcus chats to the V&A’s Catherine Flood.

PV--and-Jerry

Mick Jones and Jerry Dammers.

PV-Nick-Lowe-talks-Barney

Nick Lowe talks Barney.

PV-Nobby-Graham-with-Lloyd-

Chelsea College’s Nobby Graham and Lloyd Johnson.

PV-writer-and-filmaker-Paul

Writer/filmmaker Paul Tickell looks on as artist Bruce Maclean strikes a Blockhead pose.

PV-writer-and-musician-Dave-Ba

Musician/writer Dave Barbarossa and his wife Alison view the music press ads.

 

Buy the exhibition booklet

Monday, September 20th, 2010

P1110070.JPG

Copies of the 24-page Barney Bubbles exhibition booklet are now available exclusively from this site.

Click on the Process exhibition booklet link in the right hand column.

Featuring the cover image of the ingenious hammer & sickle artwork for Nick Lowe’s 1979 album Labour Of Lust, the illustrated booklet includes:

  • Title sticker (in ‘process magenta’)
  • Introduction by author Paul Gorman
  • Overview of Barney Bubbles’ design practices
  • Photograph of Barney Bubbles creating set design for cover of Carlene Carter’s Musical Shapes
  • Letter to Barney Bubbles from client Line Records
  • Design for The M!ss!ng L!nk tattoo for The Damned drummer Rat Scabies
  • 18 images including original artwork, sketches and photography for Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, Hawkwind, Clive Langer & The Boxes and Whirlwind

PRICE INCLUDING POSTAGE

P1110131.JPG

P1110132.JPG

P1110129.JPG

P1110126.JPG

P1110127.JPG

PRICE INCLUDING POSTAGE

Process: Pictures from our exhibition

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

proces-entrance1

process-entrance2

Process: The working practices of Barney Bubbles uses the three areas of Chelsea Space to guide visitors through the methods by which this master designer realised his audacious creations.

And there’s a continuous soundtrack of the music for which he designed, from Cressida to Costello, from Hawkwind to The Damned, from Iggy Pop & James Williamson to Red Dirt.

In the entrance to Chelsea Space is selected ephemera – adverts, badges, music press ads, stickers – as well as books, magazines and other finished artwork and designs, including the rug made in the image of a panel on the cover of Brewing Up With Billy Bragg.

There is also a showreel of 10 of the videos directed by Bubbles (including two never publicly displayed before: Incendiary Device and Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby for Johnny Moped).

process-rampchuck

process-rampelvis

A face-off is conducted between Elvis Costello (in 1977’s Warholian 60″ x 40″ Live Stiffs poster) and Chuck Berry (in the form of the wall-mounted sculpture created by Bubbles for music publisher Peter Barnes) at each end of the ramp.

On the ramp wall are posters, sleeves and other exhibits denoting approaches, recurrent themes and areas such as art direction, colour usage, application of symbols, photographic treatment, geometric arrangement, etc.

In the main room there is no finished artwork, excepting a copy of Damned Damned Damned with it’s deliberate printing error, and an NME Book Of Modern Music to demonstrate from whence Bubbles was taking his design leads at the time of production.

Sketches and proposals, along with personal effects, influences, paintings and sketchbooks rest on plinths and trestles colour-schemed to a typically exuberant Bubbles palette.

process-mainspace1

process-mainspace2

process-mainspace3

process-mainspace4

process-punch

process-paste-upsphotograph

The walls are lined with pen and ink artwork, PMTs (Photo Mechanical Transfers), proofs, proposals, paste-ups, photography, etc. There’s a guide to the technical aspects of producing artwork in the pre-digital age, as well as a professional CV.

If you get the chance, do drop by; we’re around a lot of the time so can be on hand to talk you through the show and answer any questions.

Video and music track listings for the show are available here.

All photos Donald Smith.

Bazooka + Brody launch their barrage on London

Friday, September 17th, 2010

bazgraf

Last night the Bazooka exhibition/collaboration with Neville Brody opened at London’s Aubin Gallery.

Curated by Stuart Semple, the show is part of the Anti-Design Festival‘s counterblast to the London Design Festival.

bazabyss

bazthey

bazmakeup

With one room dedicated to two giant screens beaming a compilation of artworks, the Bazooka archive is represented from the 70s to the present day in a tradermark barrage of imagery collaging Dada, punk, reportage and commentary concerning everything from domestic abuse to Islamic fundamentalism.

Brody brings his typographical magic to bear on the series of new pieces, which are printed on industrial synthetic rugs produced especially in Belgium. These contain slogans such as “The abyss also gazes into you”.

“It brought us great pleasure that the manufacturer should be producing such work,” Bazooka’s Loulou Picasso told us. Barney Bubbles – with whom Bazooka collaborated on Elvis Costello And the Attractions’ Armed Forces sleeve – would surely have approved.

bazrugs

bazglo

bazquartet

The work at second left in the photograph above contains an element from the cover of Bazooka’s ground-breaking January 1978 Libération supplement Un Regard Sur Le Monde.

Bubbles’ personal copy of this publication is on show in our exhibition, as is an original of The NME Book Of Modern Music, which signalled his absorption of some of Bazooka’s artistic approaches.

bazlibbaz-nme

Utilising the comic strip visual vocab of the underground press and the Paris événements, Bazooka continue to blaze their trail in the digital age with their site Un Regard Moderne.

bazkiki

bazloulou

Bazooka is at The Aubin Gallery until October 3.

Quintessential ‘topiary’ in Gandalf’s Garden

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
gg-bbdrawingofquint

"Shiva Jones and the Quintessence": Sketch by Barney Bubbles (top, bearded) with group members outside 307 Portobello Road, May, 1969.

One of the more abstruse credits for Barney Bubbles appeared just as he was embarking on his career in music design.

In the sixth and final issue of underground magazine Gandalf’s Garden, Bubbles was credited with “topiary”, in keeping with the horticultural lexicon employed at the offshoot of the Chelsea head shop/restaurant of the same name.

gg-cover

Front cover, Gandalf's Garden 6, 1969.

gg-ext2

Exterior Gandalf's Garden, World's End, London SW10, 1969.

gg-ad

Issue 6 of Gandalf’s Garden was published in late 1969, and included a feature on Quintessence. The flute-led jazz/raga/rock ensemble’s recently released debut album In Blissful Company was Bubbles’ first 12in sleeve design (with his Teenburger Designs assistant John Muggeridge, or ‘J. Moonman’ as he was styled on the cover).

gg-quint

Pages 9-10, Gandalf's Garden 6.

gg-quintad

Page 2, Gandalf's Garden 6.

The feature was enlivened by a pink duotone image of the group, and an Island Records advert for the new album appeared in the same issue. Bubbles received the credit for supplying both of these.

“Since he’s listed among those responsible for ‘topiary’ (i.e. artwork) in the issue, all I can say is that he did SOMETHING!” said Rosemary Pardoe, who is responsible for Gandalf’s online presence.

Gandalf’s mainman Muz Murray does not believe Bubbles ever provided layouts. “However, he  kindly offered his Barney Bubbles’ Light Show for the benefit concerts we did with Marc Bolan, David Bowie and Quintessence,” added Murray.

gg-ben

Concert posters, 1969.

Bubbles, whose basement at 307 Portobello Road was used as rehearsal space by Quintessence, also regularly provided lights for their performances at the Sunday Implosion events at London’s The Roundhouse.

The GG6 Quintessence image and advert share the design approach Bubbles adopted for the black-and-white 12-page booklet he placed inside the Blissful Company gatefold (the front and back covers were paintings by ‘Gopala’, a member of the group’s posse, and the inner a photograph of the group and their circle).

gg-quintspread2

Pages 6-7, In Blissful Company booklet, 1969.

gg--quintspread1

Pages 9-10, In Blissful Company booklet, 1969.

The 12in sq booklet presented italicised song lyrics and credits with images of the band-members amid coarse dot patterns, shimmering elipses and die-cut apertures leading to an op-art quadrant.

This complementary and juxtaposed use of the square, triangle and circle were repeated by Bubbles throughout his career, denoting his understanding of the power of primary shapes (defining features of art movements he investigated, such as the Bauhaus).

gg-diecut1

gg-diecut2

gg-diecut4

gg-geometricsquare

Profiled in the BBC doc New Horizons: The Alternative Society, Quintessence took part in the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre (which led to the  fund-raising album of the following year housed in Bubbles’ tri-fold sleeve).

A version of the group is still led by founder Shiva Jones. You can catch up with their latest news here.