March 10th, 2018

This week we kicked off our first ever ‘Why Not Wednesday?’ – a monthly event where we all get together as a team to try, see, hear, learn or make something new; something that inspires us creatively.

For our first WNW, we were fortunate enough to be invited by G.F.Smith to the private viewing of Orgasm Addict Reframed, an exhibition featuring the work of over 120 creatives.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Buzzcocks’ 1977 single Orgasm Addict, Design Manchester, in partnership with Secret 7, invited leading designers from around the world, and a new generation of creatives, to submit a personal graphic interpretation, or ‘reframing’, of the original sleeve.

It was curated by Malcolm Garrett (and DR.ME), the designer of the original sleeve. His original work featured a montage by the artist Linder Sterling, which Garrett flipped upside down and rendered in blue and yellow to enhance the graphic impact of the sleeve.

Artists and designers included Michael C Place, Craig Oldham, Swifty, SEA Design, Anthony Burrell, Judy Blame and many more. Lee was personally proud to see Maxine Gregson featured, who was his Creative Director at Claydon Heeley (back in the day).

It was a treat to see so many interpretations of the same brief, and the myriad of directions it was taken; from Peter Saville’s naughty QR code to NB Studios’ perfectly innocent cat cleaning itself, made obscene by context.

After a few champagnes, our discussion turned to the fine line between art and design, and how this comes to the fore in album sleeves. Perhaps the most famous album designer that moved between fine art and commercial art was Andy Warhol, and his view was simply ‘Art is what you can get away with’.