Vaughan Oliver is one of the great (music) designers. His work is highly original and often breathtakingly beautiful. Probably best known for his work for The Pixies and Cocteau Twins on the 4AD label, Oliver’s designs for Scott Walker, His Name Is Alive, Heidi Berry and many other lesser known names is just as remarkable. For someone who claims to have been uninspired by typography at college, his use of type is a joy. In its gestural expressiveness it focuses and enlivens each design with tremendous inventiveness. Oliver’s work often foregrounds dark images produced by photographers who are essential collaborators in the creative process (key names include Simon Larbalestier, Nigel Grierson and Marc Atkins). Also central to his process is a willingness to experiment and a deep engagement with the music. The result is work that is passionate, elegant and highly influential.
On June 15 2009, Pixies are releasing Minotaur, a box set of five of their classic CDs. The following video is a mini documantary about how the artwork for the box set was created by graphic designer Vaughan Oliver. Oliver created the covers for the original releases and was asked to do a “reinterpretation” of his work for the new release. The set will include the Come On Pilgrim EP, Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova, and Trompe le Monde.