Photo By Gail
This poster by Peter Savile, who first came to prominence for his designs for Factory Records, was issued to promote Joy Division’s 1979 debut album, Unknown Pleasures. Band member Bernard Sumner found the image, a rendering of successive waves emitted by a pulsar, in an astronomy textbook. Saville reversed the image from black-on-white to white-on-black, conjuring the darker atmospherics of the album’s sound. The Cover Art design has attained an iconic status, particularly of late, going so far as to spawn the term “joyplot,“ which refers to a method of data visualization that involves the layering of successive and comparative histograms.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Too Fast To Live Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.