Alan Aldridge at the Design Museum



An exhibition of the British graphic designer Alan Aldridge opened at the Design Museum in London last week.


It is the first UK retrospective featuring illustrations and graphic design works by Aldridge, who was one of the key graphic designers of the sixties and seventies and who worked extensively with The Beatles. Above: Beatles illustrated lyrics, A Hard Days Night 1969


The exhibition runs till 25 January 2009. Above: Yellow Submarine illustrated lyrics.


Above: Chelsea Girls film poster for Andy Warhol. The following is from the Design Museum, with exhibition photos by Luke Hayes:


Alan Aldridge
- The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes
10 October 2008 – 25 January 2009

Alan Aldridge embodied the spirit of the 60s and 70s. His evocative, psychedelic images epitomised the feeling and art of an era. As The Beatles lead an unstoppable assault on the global charts, it was Aldridge’s designs and visual identity that defined The Beatles image and music in a changing world.

Still busy creating today – he was responsible for the look of the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Aldridge is an artist, an illustrator, a graphic designer, art director and film maker. Above: Harold the Heraki, plate taken from Butterfly Bal


He masterminded the seminal art book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics and designed Andy Warhol’s iconic Chelsea Girls film poster. As Art Director at Penguin, Aldridge produced ground-breaking covers.


Commissions for The Rolling Stones, Elton John and illustrations for the award-winning children’s book The Butterfly Ball and The Grasshoppers Feast will be included in the exhibition, the first complete retrospective of Aldridge’s work in the UK.


Born in London’s East End in 1943, Aldridge calls himself a ‘graphic entertainer’, his pioneering approach to graphic design fuses faux-naive images, bold colours, references to Art Nouveau and Surrealism with an unerring eye for an arresting image to produce an array of posters, album sleeves and picture books that appeal direct to the masses. Aldridge’s radical talent would define an era, as drabness was cast aside; new music and a new visual culture emerged.


Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum adds “Alan Aldridge is a remarkable talent: part Aubrey Beardsley, part rock star, responsible for some of the most memorable images of his time, the Design Museum is proud to present the first retrospective of Aldridge’s work in his home country.”


This exhibition will cover Aldridge’s career to date, from the early 60s when his whirling designs refreshed the somber tone of Penguin book covers, to his collaborations with The Beatles and their Apple record company, through to serving as creative director to the original Hard Rock Café. Commissions from Andy Warhol, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John and The House of Blues will also be on display alongside photographs, sketch books and illustrations from his seminal children’s books.


Posted on Tuesday October 14th 2008 at 9:54 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Michael

    If you can make it to this gallery, please do. The level of detail in all of the works is simply mind blowing. Good stuff! You know a graphic designer or illustrator has made it when music is so simply conjured up from the mere sight of associated works.

  • Bozo


  • mama

    Incredible. Those were the days – I wish I was 16 or so then.

  • I suppose I’m betraying my age, but this REALLY takes me back. I ADORED both volumes of “The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics” when they were originally published, and I especially liked Alan Aldridge’s contributions. I’d love to hop on a plane and zip over to London to see this exhibition … but lacking the financial resources to do so, I appreciate Dezeen’s photos.

  • JuiceMajor²

    This is all very Chelsea Hotel inspired! Definitely worth a visit!

  • Celebrate London ! Go see this exhibit as it is smashingly Brilliant!

  • JLW

    It’s worth a visit: the early part is certainly very ‘immersive’ and it’s good seeing the Beatles images at large scale. See Roger Sabin’s critique of the show on the Eye blog,

  • it seems an impressive, immersive experience.

  • Katherine Henderson

    My god this is wonderful.