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An important figure in the pantheon of British designers, Malcolm Garrett’s influence is pretty much immeasurable. He tells Ben Wardle about 10 albums that were career highlights

A few days after LLV interviews legendary Manchester designer Malcolm Garrett, the deaThof Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley is announced. That day, Garrett tweets “This man and his words were literally the blueprint for my life.” Indeed, it was his designs for Shelley’s group, in particular the clever tiered Zs in their logo, which kick-started Garrett’s career. WiThhis street furniture-inspired geometric lines, minimalist palette and sense of irony and fun, he arguably invented the way that modern pop music could be packaged and marketed. Now Creative Director of design company Images & Co and ambassador for Manchester School of Art, Garrett is currently developing the fifth Design Manchester festival, but he generously freed some space in his diary to talk LLV through the 10 releases that map out his life in vinyl.



United Artists


“When I went in wiThthe album sleeve, saying I wanted it silver and fluorescent orange, four colours and in a plastic bag, the label loved it. There was a feeling that we’d better let these punks do what they want because we don’t understand what they’re about.

“The Product bag came out of a different idea: as a student I’d opened my first bank account at NatWest, partly because my dad banked there and partly because I liked their cheque books! I liked their corporate identity – grey wiTha pink logo, very industrial looking. When you open a bank account they give you a welcome pack, and theirs was a sliver wallet wiThone of those plastic zips across the top. I thought: ‘that’s what I want the Buzzcocks’ album to be’, in a silver plastic wallet wiTha zip. Had it been Factory Records they would have done it!

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