Malcolm Garrett and Peter Saville
Limited edition, screen-printed posters created for the exhibition Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976–1986
Creators of some of punk’s most influential graphics, legendary designers Malcolm Garrett and Peter Saville collaborated with the Museum of Arts and Design to design graphic materials for the exhibition Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976–1986 inspired by their iconic work.
Educated in graphic design at England’s Manchester Polytechnic, Garrett designed the cover of the Buzzcocks’ first single in 1977. Using striking, but spare color combinations and industrial iconography, Garrett established a distinctive visual identity for the band that pushed the boundaries of design. Garrett’s "Too Fast to Live" graphic—featuring bold black type on a metallic silver ground with a square pop of fluorescent orange—recalls his cover art for the Buzzcocks' 1989 compilation album Product. Designed to resemble a package ready for shipment, the album became a tongue-in-cheek statement about a profit-driven music industry
A fellow student and friend of Garrett at Manchester Polytechnic, Peter Saville developed the iconic visual language of Factory Records, the independent label for the punk band New Order, Joy Division, and others. Saville’s high-concept album covers linked post-punk music to ideas and images of art and science, and his carefully crafted typographies reflected his fascination with historical type treatments. "Too Young to Die" borrows its typographic treatment and high-contrast black-and-white colorway from Saville’s 1980 design for Joy Division's Closer album cover, which featured a dramatic photograph of a neo-classical tomb and lettering inspired by Antiquity.