Vaughan Oliver: Archive
edited by Tony Brook & Adrian Shaughnessy
The book is a celebration of the Vaughan Oliver Archive, a treasure house of graphic delights housed at UCA Epsom. Oliver is the designer who kept the stuff other designers threw away: proofs, running sheets, paper labels for vinyl records, original artwork for classic album covers, videotapes, books and the weird ephemera that was the source of inspiration for many of his most famous works.
Vaughan Oliver: Archive (‘Materials and fragments’) is arranged around a set of themes — colour, hybrid forms, typography, the body, mystery, etc. It also features a selection of his exquisitely designed press ads, most of them unseen since the day they were published in the music press.
Designed by Spin and written by Adrian Shaughnessy, the book features many previously unseen works, including extensive interviews with Oliver, and with contributions from Chris Bigg, his long-standing creative accomplice.
In a piece for Creative Review, Shaughnessy wrote: “Vaughan Oliver was one of a small group of British graphic designers who helped turn graphic design into an activity that many young people, for the first time in history, saw as a desirable occupation. Previously, people had mostly stumbled into graphic design by accident. But when Peter Saville, Neville Brody, Malcolm Garrett, and Oliver became widely known (for the most part through their work for cult record labels), they imbued the idea of being a graphic designer with the glamour of being in a band.”
Vaughan Oliver: Archive was first published as a two-volume edition in 2018. Following the sad, untimely death of Vaughan Oliver on 29th December 2019, the original edition sold out quickly. As a way of honouring Vaughan’s life and work, Unit Editions reprinted a limited number of copies of the book. This new version includes the main book from 2018, ‘Materials and fragments’, only.
Perfect bound Paperback | 432 pages | Thames and Hudson | 2021