I’m a sucker for stories about designers who make something for an unknown entity for next to nothing only to see it become something recognizable, even iconic (more on that in a sec). Such is apparently the case with graphic designer Peter Saville, who in 1979 created the cover art for an album by an obscure band called Joy Division. That particular album, Unknown Pleasures, is now recognized widely as one of the greatest albums of all-time. You’ve probably seen it before….
Anyway, Saville explains how it all came to be in the mini-doc embedded above. It’s sort of fascinating.
An aside: a few years ago I dipped my toe into writing for TV briefly. During that time I worked with another writer on a project. He introduced me to his dad at one point. Later he told me that his old man was Rob Janoff, the person who designed the iconic Apple logo for Steve Jobs, a gig he took on as pro bono work because Jobs was pals with his boss at the time.
“There were many people who said Apple would go bankrupt if they went ahead with the logo,” says Rob Janoff, the graphic designer credited with thinking up the world-famous emblem. Janoff, 57, first met Jobs while working at Palo Alto, Calif.-based public relations agency Regis McKenna. It was his task to help the sandal-wearing CEO-a good friend of Janoff’s boss-market a makeshift wooden box stuffed with wires, an early prototype of the Apple II. “For inspiration, the first thing I did was go to the supermarket, buy a bag of apples and slice them up. I just stared at the wedges for hours,” recalls Janoff. The fruit of his labor: a simple 2-D monochromatic apple, with a healthy bite taken from the right side. Jobs loved the conceit-only he suggested it be more colorful. Janoff’s boss disagreed, insisting the logo be made all black to save on printing costs. “But Jobs was resolute, arguing that color was the key to humanizing the company,” says Janoff. “So I just put colors where I thought they should be, not even thinking about a prism.” What thanks did Janoff, now the owner of his own Chicago-based graphic design firm, get for all his hard work? “Not even a holiday card.”
Whoever did this mini-doc on Peter Saville should do one on Rob Janoff as well.
(Via Laughing Squid)