Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Industrial designer Marek Reichman meets graphic designer Peter Saville

In this episode of Only Artists on BBC Radio 4, the industrial designer Marek Reichman meets the graphic artist and designer Peter Saville.

Marek Reichman has designed cars for some of the world's best-known marques and is currently chief creative officer at Aston Martin. Born in Sheffield, he graduated from Teesside University with a degree in industrial design and continued his studies in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art.

Peter Saville was in his mid-20s when he created renowned album covers for Factory Records' bands including Joy Division and New Order. Since then he has worked with leading fashion designers and musicians and was appointed creative director of the city of Manchester.

I really appreciate the work of Peter Saville (see my previous blog post about him and his work), and this radio conversation gave me a better understanding of the systems he uses in his design process.

I was particularly fascinated to hear about how he transformed the alphabet into a colour system.

It was his interest in computers that lead him to allocate a colour to the numbers 1-9.

Saville explained: “The colour alphabet came from the fact that I understood the floppy disk contained coded information and I wanted to impart the title in a coded form - therefore I converted the alphabet into a code using colours.”


1 = A

2 = B

3 = C

24 (2 and 4) = X

25 (2 and 5) = Y

26 (2 and 6) = Z

This was then used for the Blue Monday album cover.

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