Rock Design

This is Josh Gluck!


He’s been called the UK’s most famous graphic designer, best known for his album cover designs for the UK’s best bands in the late seventies and early eighties: Joy Division, New Order, and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. His designs apply simple, inventive visuals to the themes of the music itself.  Countless designers have since tried to emulate Saville’s style.

We’ve hopefully all seen this iconic Joy Division cover from 1979.


This design is so classic it’s really in its own category.  It’s been tattooed and printed countless times, and is still reinterpreted (rather like the I Heart N Y logo). Check out this absurd, lawsuit-ready Disney tee from 2012


Ouch, that’s bad…but it definitely shows the ubiquity of a forty-year-old rock design, if even Disney wants to get in the game.

Here’s a great gallery of several of Peter Saville’s classic album cover designs


Alright, so maybe Saville’s most famous work predates digital media….but he is still designing today with all the same tools that we have been learning.  Here’s a 2013 cover for Orchestral Maneuvers. Gradients, diagonals, simultaneous contrast?


Another caveat, Saville’s latest project is a logo for Kanye West! Apparently the rapper/producer wants to be recognized as an icon, like Yves Saint Laurent.  I actually cannot wait to see what Saville comes up with, and if Kanye accepts it or not.


3 thoughts on “Rock Design

  1. I really like his style of work. I especially enjoy his cleaner single colored designs with basic geometric shapes. While a lot of it is older stuff, it is still timeless and doesn’t feel outdated due to good design.

    On the contrary his photo based work is highly outdated. Republic, Ruined in a Day, Suede, and others are hard to look at. You can tell that the programs they used were very basic.

  2. Wow! I really love all of his designs and have definitely seen them before, but never knew his name or that he designed so many iconic works. I really like his clean and not busy style; I feel like these days people try to put too much into things. The best most timeless works of art are simple yet aesthetically pleasing, like the ‘I ❤ NY' emblem, and the t-shirt pictured in your article. People try too hard these days to be creative and put too much into things and I really appreciate the simplicity of his work! I am so excited now to see what he will create for Kanye West!

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