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WALK OF LIFE: VAUGHAN OLIVER AT LESLEY

From ad campaign for Alberto Aspesi, Photography: Dominic Davies, Art direction: Vaughan Oliver, Design: Vaughan Oliver and Tim Vary, 1999.

From ad campaign for Alberto Aspesi, Photography: Dominic Davies, Art direction: Vaughan Oliver, Design: Vaughan Oliver and Tim Vary, 1999.


COVER STORY
VAUGHAN OLIVER: WALKING BACKWARDS
LUNDER ARTS CENTER, LESLEY UNIVERSITY
1801 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE
CAMBRIDGE, MA
SEPTEMBER 5 – OCTOBER 22

by Lisa Mikulski

There is a good amount of graphic design work that reveals itself as being quite pedestrian. And then there is the work that elevates the field and serves to inspire not only the design community, but the target audience — the consumer — as well.

The work of legendary designer Vaughan Oliver reminds me why I love graphic design: it’s wizardry.

Elegant and message-honored, Oliver’s work is known for its emotional and ethereal quality. His influence has inspired not only graphic designers, but also fashion designers, advertising creatives, music journalists and film directors.

Vaughan Oliver has enjoyed a 35-year career as an art director, designer and typographer. He built his reputation on creating work for the record company 4AD, designing its album covers, posters and lyric booklets. The beauty of this work is in the ways he devised visual interpretations that aspired to be the equivalent of the music itself.

“Walking Backwards,” on view at Lesley University’s Lunder Arts Center, features selections taken from Oliver’s extensive archive and reveals the work of a man who is an interdisciplinary connector, a unique art director of image and text and a generous collaborator of practices.

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