World violation…

How a red rose started me on my career path!


Some of my favourite graphic imagery stems from my teenage years. A combination of wide-eyed youthful innocence, ability to absorb details and information and a love of music.

In 1989 I stumbled across two albums. Both were passed on to me on a TDK SE90 and were in my Walkman on auto reverse for months. One was the excellent Disintegration by The Cure and the other Violator by Depeche Mode. I love both albums but Violator started a life long obsession and quest to own EVERYTHING by this fantastic band.

It wasn’t just the awesome electronic music either but the stark black and red artwork by the legendary Anton Corbijn. I can’t put my finger on it but something just clicked when I saw it. The red rose, almost unintelligible handwritten font and black. To be honest after seeing this stunning album played live, black became a part of my wardrobe as it does for many teenagers. Not goth – the white jeans stopped that!

Anyhow, this rose theme was used graphically for the next few years and in a variety of ways. Depeche Mode used the rose for their single ‘Enjoy the Silence‘ – this time changing it to white on a colour background. It was used as a backdrop for the ‘World Violation‘ tour and on all accompanying T-shirts, programmes and memorabilia. It was probably the first time I’d ever noticed such branding.

It impressed me so much that I decided that year that I’d like to be a graphic designer. I didn’t want to work on magazines (that’s a story for later), but I new I wanted to create similar stuff. I’ve also spent hundreds of pounds collecting Depeche Mode albums, CD singles, books, videos and more. It’s been great being part of the huge ‘Mode’ family and following Britain’s biggest underground, cult band…

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Magazine designer... Great page layouts... Always hits deadlines... Always hits budgets... Picture editor... Blogs a bit... Husband... Father of two

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