Blimey – Barney Bubbles!





David Lowbridge who sent us these nicely imaged sumpturies says: The reverse of the inner sleeve (shown above) with three different shaped/sized ellipses is entitled: ‘BIG MAN’; ‘TALL MAN’; ‘EXTRA WIDE SHORT MAN’.

Long-time reader Steve Kirkendall writes:

Hi David, Hope all is well. As promised, here’s some words about why I’m a big fan of Mr B, with a little story about my fave Bubbles-werk.

Blimey – Barney Bubbles!

Barney Bubbles was a major influence on my work as I made the transition from illustrator to full blown designer in the early eighties. As we all know, he was incredibly versatile, moving from one style (and medium) to another, often employing styles that other designers would base an entire career upon, but which he would use to make a graphic statement, then move on.

My favourite Bubbles-werk would have to be his Elvis Costello packaging. And because I was such a huge EC fan, the music became the soundtrack to those wonderful graphic trips Mr B would take me on, as I stared at every detail of the sleeve design. And the press ads, posters and buttons for EC and the A’s carried the same level of invention and attention to detail. 

In the face of stiff (no pun intended) competition, my personal choice of top Bubbles graphism would have to be the the sleeve for ‘Get Happy’. It is the only piece of graphic design that made me stop dead in my tracks and utter ‘Bloody Hell!’ out loud. This was swiftly followed by a speedy purchase, then back home to listen to the album and more importantly, drool over the sleeve. The reason this piece of work stands tall above any other Bubbles output for me is that scuff mark on the front. (Although, my not-entirely-reliable memory seems to tell me that there was a larger, 12″ sized, scuff on the reverse too). 

Genius is an over used word, but if Barney Bubbles wasn’t a genius, who was?


David Lowbridge says: Yes, there was 12″ scuffing on the reverse too — be interesting to hear any recollections of the reaction this got at the time, any returns for instance!? This is the record where Barney used VAT numbers for the credits:

Photography VAT 239 7568 14, Artwork VAT 245 4945 42