Mostly popularised by his record covers for rock bands Joy Division and New Order, Peter Saville is a Graphic Designer whose design career has mostly been encompassed within the domain of the music industry.
A British record company called Factory Records was to become Saville’s most successful business venture,for which he was to create some of the most well recognised record covers in rock history. Saville’s partnership with Factory Records came about when he approached one of the companies founders Tony Wilson at a Pattie Smith concert in 1978.
His design influences were attributed to one of his fellow students Malcom Garret, who also designed record covers and by Herbert Spencers Pioneers of Modern Typography. Formally completing his education at Manchester Polytechnic and Manchester Metropolitan University from 1975 to 1978, it was in his year of graduating that his breakthrough with Factory Records came.
During the 1980’s, his work was described as using reappropriation from art and design. He would literally take an image from one genre and recontextualize it in another; a great example of this being his record cover for New Orders Power, Coruption and Lies album (1983), which featured a Fantin-Latour “Roses” painting combined with a colour-coded alphabet.
During his design career Saville has produced album covers for many of the industry’s greats, including Peter Gabrielle, Wham!, Duran Duran, Pulp and King Crimson. His contribution to graphic design was most clearly defined when the Design Museum of London exhibited his body of work. The exhibition was open from May 23 to Semptember 14 2003, and the soundtrack for the exhibition was performed and recorded by New Order.