Hey Ho Let’s Biro

Hey Ho Let's Biro

Rear sleeve design of Extended Play by Cabaret Voltaire, 1978

An on-going project at the moment is digitising my collection of vinyl 45 rpm singles dating mainly from 1976-80, and a bonus of the process is looking again at the artwork of records released by “bedroom” labels from an era when “cut and paste” involved the gelatin whiff of Cow Gum and fingers inky from leaking Biros. You can see on this Cabaret Voltaire sleeve that someone has wielded their Biro with the same care and attention that used to be applied to inscribing the logo and name of your favourite bands on your school Army surplus haversack. It would have seemed all kinds of wrong to my 18-year-old self that this vibrant DIY “Punk” graphic style would prove to be so long-lasting and influential that it would still be being appropriated for Top Shop T-shirt designs over 35 years later…

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