Boss Stiff Devo cover plus Boff Prof in Bubbles’ book Barney
Hi folks. Not sure of the details on this Devo cover, I know it is Griffin and Barney’s work, but beyond that I’ll rely on the legions of Barney Irregulars to fill me in.
I was directed to the source of these great works by AlphaInventions who told me of a French speaking person, Vivon, whose address is:
Vivon had accessed the sights above, so I lifted them from the page with fearless bravado and wished Vivon merci.
In other matters …
Rick Poynor succinctly writes about the Fulcher, known as Barney B, and his ways at: http//designobserver.com
Here is an excerpt from his review of Reasons to be Cheerful.
Rick Poynor: “Bubbles badly needed a monograph and now, finally, he has one, Paul Gorman’s Reasons to be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles. Gorman has pulled off a feat no one else has managed and I wish I liked the book more. Bitten by the Bubbles bug as a teenage music fan, he is a journalist and music writer, with an interest in fashion, and he published an excellent oral history about the music press.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t know enough about the history, culture and practice of graphic design to analyze the visual aspects of Bubbles’ work with any precision or nuance, or to locate him with authoritative detail on the maps of British and international graphic design. The book continually asserts BB’s brilliance without explaining it convincingly. Gorman has structured his text as a chronological narrative heavily based on what Bubbles’ friends such as David Wills and Brian Griffin, and admirers such as Garrett and the singer Billy Bragg, have told him. He threads brief, prosaic descriptions of individual pieces into the biographical story, with no attempt anywhere at deeper thematic or contextual analysis — Bubbles’ interest in concrete poetry, for instance, is noted in passing but not explored. The haphazard placement of images in Reasons to be Cheerful, far from where they are mentioned, is a pain: the book is not well designed. My guess, having spoken to Gorman during his research, is that he sees all this as a strength, a way of connecting with a broader (less demanding, less design-aware) readership. But Bubbles is first of all a graphic designer and it is on an understanding of his designs, rather than on the affection of his fans, that his reputation must rest.”
A note on anonymity
Wills: Another item in the long list of reasons BB worked with pseudonyms: Our old chum from Conran, the fair Alison (as in the song), had a great-granpa who was Dan Leno, King of the Music-Hall (UK Vaudeville). Alison confirmed that one of Leno’s stage personae really was his alter-ego ‘Little Willie.’ This is the subject of much Music Hall history gossip on the boards – was he or wasn’t he? Well, Leno’s great granddaughter told me that yes, definitely, Little Willie was Dan Leno. I think that Barney would be like Little Willie, the funny little twit that could get away with the wildest innuendo using his wanky patter and disarming ways because – he didn’t really exist. Since Barney was a no slouch at anything he undertook, in deciding to be subversively incognito he was a wiz.