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Rick Poynor
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Archive: December 2008


Barney Bubbles: Optics and Semantics


“Get Happy!!” poster for Elvis Costello and the Attractions, 1980

Barney Bubbles has a unique place in British graphic design. Even more than Robert Brownjohn, who also died much too soon, Bubbles feels both known and unknown. If only we could interview him now we could finally get some answers. Why refuse to sign your designs when you knew they were so original? Why the repeated desire for anonymity when your work sometimes includes stylized self-portraits, a blatant assertion of your presence on equal terms with your clients, in a way that most of your colleagues in graphic design would never have dared at the time? Bubbles’ suicide in 1983, at the age of 41, ensured that we will probably never get to the bottom of it

READ MORE | COMMENTS (49)
Rick Poynor is a writer, critic, lecturer and curator, specialising in design, media, photography and visual culture. He founded Eye, co-founded Design Observer, and contributes columns to Eye and Print. His latest book is Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design.


Recent Book


Uncanny Surrealism and Graphic Design
Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design
Rick Poynor
Moravian Gallery, 2010
More books by Rick Poynor >>


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