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The Tunes
Record / CD / Tape
This was a sleeve design I did for The Tunes in 1979. I didn't know the band but I was friends with their manager, Chris Dixon. He was working for CBS Records at this point, and he formed his own label, Rhesus Records, to put this out. The cover was an original cartoon he'd commissioned from the cartoonist Ray Lowry, who was a regular in lots of music publications like NME, as well as private Eye, etc. I seem to recall that the back story was that Lowry didn't really want to be restricted to doing a cartoon and fancied doing some design or art direction for a change ... but Chris insisted on a cartoon, as that was what Lowry was renowned for. Which might explain the tone of the cartoon Lowry came up with. Or not.
Artefact added : 27th October 2007
by Steve McGarry
Abigail Says –
Wonderful! Fascinating stuff, Steve. Do keep posting.
COMMENT ADDED 29th October 2007
mat Says –
you seem to really like this red... it's similar to the S&TDs sleeves... is it the same font too, or the sma e at the nosebleeds font (BEE?)
COMMENT ADDED 11th November 2007
Steve McGarry Says –
There's probably a number of factors at play. We were all working with very limited (or nonexistent) budgets for starters, and this was long before the dawn of apple macs and desktop publishing. A lot of the type was handwritten or knocked out on an electric typewriter, because; a) we were punk/new wave, maaaaannn! ... but mainly b) the unsigned bands just didn't have the cash to have the type created at a typesetting house. (In those days, type design was all educated guesswork, which involved choosing a font and size from whatever fonts the type house stocked, and then doing a "spec". The type would come back on two galley sheets, one of which was then pasted onto the artboard with Cow gum or Spraymount to create camera-ready art ... unless it was wrong, in which case you either got creative with a scalpel or sent it back to have it reset.) I had a limited library of Letraset sheets, which was type that you applied like a kids' rub-on temporary transfer tattoo, and this is what was used for headers, logos, etc., and occasionally for body copy. No doubt that will be why the Nosebleeds and Tunes type is similar ... I probably only had a reserve of 30 or 40 Letraset typefaces to choose from without running up the band's bill by having to buy more.

As to palette - unless it was for a major, the bands could usually only afford a one-color sleeve. The Tunes evidently went for a two-color sleeve here ... and I've always thought you can't go really go wrong with red, black and white for rock - just look at how well it worked for The White Stripes all those years later.

Looking back, it was all very amateurish and primitive - but that was the fun of it, I think.
COMMENT ADDED 11th November 2007
Howard Says –
I am trying to trace Chris Dixon - can anyone put me in touch with him. This is a genuine request - if in doubt you can tell him it's Howard from the YEP who wants to get in touch. Cheers.
my emails is:
COMMENT ADDED 4th October 2017
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