Life's Work

Thanks to Unit Editions, the work of Vaughan Oliver no longer has to languish in an archive – there's just over a week to grab the beautifully produced two-volume book which showcases his hugely influential body of work.

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Ultra Vivid Scene by Ultra Vivid Scene, LP cover, 1988

Earlier in this year we were thrilled to be given a guided tour of Vaughan Oliver's extensive archive by the man himself – and pretty mindblowing it was too.

Housed at UCA's Epsom campus (where Vaughan Oliver is also a visiting professor), the archive contains a staggering amount of work. As well as sketchbooks and all of the finished pieces, there's the stuff that most people would discard along the way, including material such as proofs, running sheets and test prints. It's fascinating to see the process behind the final artwork, especially as most of the work is pre-Photoshop.

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Doolittle by the Pixies, LP cover 1989

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Bossanova by The Pixies, LP cover, 1990

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Treasure by The Cocteau Twins, LP cover, 1984

One of the more unassuming characters we've met, Vaughan Oliver is a hugely influential graphic designer, who will always be associated with the indie music label 4AD, and bands such as the Cocteau Twins and the Pixies. While it's possible to view the archive by appointment, subsequent generations of young designers have sometimes been unaware of his amazing body of work.

Thank goodness then for Unit Editions, which has put together two volumes of Oliver's work – Book 1.0 Material and fragments, and Book 2.10 Remnants and Desires – giving unprecedented access to his archive and a real insight into the man himself. Guaranteed to be future collector's items, there's just a week left to grab the set before the Kickstarter campaign ends – full details can be found here.

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