Super Simple

This looks like I’m being lazy again (it’s not deliberate), but I just found this interview really interesting, and I wanted to share. It’s with Mark Farrow, who has been designing Pet Shop Boys record (CD, tape, album) covers for ever so many years now. He’s just done the same again for their latest one, Super, which I’m currently listening to (spoiler: it’s not misnamed).


I’m not into “design”, but I really like the idea behind this latest cover:

This time we went pop art, a fluorescent circle containing the word “SUPER” in a contrasting fluorescent colour. Then each format, CD, LP and digital, was given its own fluorescent colour scheme. The different music streaming services even have their own colour schemes. These colour schemes then come together in an animation of clashing colours used for online advertising and digital poster sites. Unhinged and brash, yes, but it also feels considered and complete as a campaign.

And yes, look – they’re all different – here’s Simfy and the Wikipedia entry:

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So let’s get this straight… This guy has been a designer – a successful designer – for at least 30 years (he did the cover for West End Girls back in 1987) and he has come up with a circle with a word in it? A word that he was given. He didn’t even have to think of the word. Seriously, aside from the circle (which is hardly a complex addition), could it actually have been any more simple?

No. No, it couldn’t.

Thing is though, it’s absolutely brilliant. And even those true cynics amongst us have to take a seat and just admit that sometimes less is more. Maybe you need to be a top class designer – supremely confident in your ability and reputation and in your clients’ belief in your work, to be able to challenge them and their fans with something so audaciously basic and fundamental.

It’s so unpretentious that it might just be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen.

And I love it.