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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jul-18 > GREG JAKOBEK POP ART

GREG JAKOBEK POP ART

GREG JAKOBEK’S NAME MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR, BUT HIS DESIGN WORK CERTAINLY WILL BE. HIS GRAPHICS GRACED THE RECORD SLEEVES OF SOME OF THE 80s BIGGEST NAMES, AND IN THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WE GO INSIDE THE COVERS WITH THE MAN HIMSELF.

How did you get involved with design and was it always your intention to work in the field of sleeve art?

I studied graphic design at Middlesex Polytechnic in the early 80s and never really had any desire to get into record sleeve design specifically. I never really thought about it, but after I left and never managed to get a full-time dream job, I ended up freelancing all over the place, mainly for public relations companies and nothing to do with the music industry.

Then, by chance, a friend asked her boss if she could use me to do some advertising artwork for WEA Records and they asked me to work on design there every now and again.

This eventually led to them advertising for a full-time in-house job and they asked if I could work there just until the right person came along. Three months later, they gave me the full-time role in their in-house art department.

At first, I worked on promotional posters and advertising, then early on I remember working on converting album artwork to CD and cassette formats, I think Red Box was the first one I did. I never quite got to the bottom of why the original designer couldn’t do it, but from this I ended up working on the singles from the album, the first one was Chenko (Tenka-Io). Many years later, Red Box’s lead singer, Simon Toulson-Clarke asked me back again to work on another album sleeve for him, which was nice.

The first design I recall seeing your name attached to was an 80s-style, Mondrian-esque cover design for Sophie and Peter Johnston. This electronic duo promised to be the North East’s answer to Yazoo.

What’s the story behind their criminally-ignored debut album’s sleeve design?

This was in 1987 and it was one of the first album covers I designed. I had gone on the shoot with photographer, Andrew Catlin, who I would work with again later on. It was a very low-key shoot walking around East London. We had some lunch in a fish and chip shop, which is where I saw the yellow and green formica on the counter. So it’s more fish and chips than Mondrian really!

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About Classic Pop

In the new issue of Classic Pop magazine we catch up with Johnny Marr to hear about the former Smiths and Electronic star’s superb new solo album Call The Comet. Tom Bailey tells us why he's returning to pop with a new album after years exploring dub and world music – remarkably it’s the former Thompson Twin frontman’s first solo LP. Also making a much-anticipated comeback is Swing Out Sister – Classic Pop talks to 80s icon Corinne Drewery and other half Andy Connell as they break what is effectively a decade of studio silence with Almost Persuaded. Elsewhere, we tell the story of the legendary Factory Records label and serve up a buyer’s guide to the work of Blondie and Debbie Harry. The ever-industrious Neil Arthur tells us about his new project Near Future and gives us details of a new Blancmange album plus we also catch up with Jaki Graham for the inside story on her diverse new album When A Woman Loves. New albums from Tom Bailey, Erasure, Years & Years and Let’s Eat Grandma get the once-over alongside reissues by David Bowie, The Cure, Public Image Limited and George Michael. We also jostle our way to the front to review live shows including Beck, Echo & The Bunnymen and Blossoms. Enjoy the issue!

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