Key designs by
Peter Saville

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Following news that British graphic designer Peter Saville has won this year's London Design Medal and that he's working on a visual identity for Kanye West, here are some of his most iconic designs from the 1970s to today.

Album artwork by Peter Saville
Poster for The Haçienda, 1978

Peter Saville's career kicked off after designing posters for The Haçienda nightclub in Manchester, run by the Factory Records label.

Album artwork by Peter Saville
Joy Divison: Closer, 1980

Saville went on to create the artwork for musicians represented by Factory Records, including rock bands Joy Division and Roxy Music.

Album artwork by Peter Saville
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark LP, 1980

His most iconic cover is widely regarded as Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures (main image), a diagram of pulses taken from an astronomy encyclopedia. Disney added Mickey Mouse ears to the graphic for a T-shirt design last year.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Architecture and Morality, 1981

Saville's design for Joy Division's second and final 1980 record Closer shows a photograph of a tomb, which proved controversial due to the suicide of the band's singer Ian Curtis two months before the album's release.

New Order: Blue Monday, 1983

Saville continued to design covers for the band after they reformed as New Order, taking images from historical artwork out of context and adding modern typography with geometric graphics.

Album artwork by Peter Saville
New Order: Power, Corruption & Lies, 1983

After designing for new wave group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark since 1980, the band asked Saville to create imagery for its latest album Electric English released earlier this year. It references the stripy hazard signs of his original Factory Records posters.

Kvadrat showroom, 2009

Saville also designed covers for English bands Pulp and Suede. He set up fashion film website SHOWstudio with his friend Nick Knight in 2000 and was made creative director for the City of Manchester in 2004.

England Home Kit for Umbro, 2010

His other work includes the 2010 England football kit, which features small coloured crosses on the shoulder panels, and a showroom for fabric brand Kvadrat he designed with architect David Adjaye.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: English Electric, 2013
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: English Electric, 2013

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  • Munchman

    While I can definitely appreciate the work of Saville, find it funny that the cover image for this story is Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album art, an image which the band found, gave to Saville and said “we want this as the cover”. Hardly a genius move by the artist. Other than that, big respect.

  • prorok

    Music made those designs timeless, design itself is not that timeless. and this with Kanye is just hype…

  • pantau

    I wonder what Saville thinks when his 35 year career always gets reduced to the same few record sleeves. Sleeves he did shortly after graduating.

  • Bob Swan

    For the sake of clarity, the grammar of this article seems to suggest that Roxy Music were signed to the Factory label and I’m certain they never were :-)