Beautiful books celebrating the designs that lay the foundation for global club culture
Design inspiration can be found everywhere. Our day to day lives are flooded with traditional symbols from red top logos and high street brands to more modern visuals including smartphones and social media platforms. We are continually inundated with creativity that acts as a backdrop to our lives but there’s one genre that provides consistent inspiration to experienced, ambitious and young designers – clubland. The following books look at how night clubs and the movements that took place in them shaped graphic design forever and how we can continually be influenced by the expressive style they employed.
Clubbed – A Visual History of UK Club Culture
Clubbed celebrates the best graphic design in UK clubs. The book features logos, posters, photography, tickets, menus, cover art, signage, lanyards, fonts and, yes, flyers from the last 35 years. The deluxe, diamond dust, hardback features a dazzling collection of never-before-published materials and a specially commissioned editorial from Bill Brewster. This beautifully conceived graphic design reference book is separated into chapters celebrating the UK’s most famous clubs and legendary nights. We celebrate the past, but also journey to the present, focusing on the most forward-thinking graphic designers working in clubs today. From £40 on Amazon.
No Sleep – NYC Nightlife Flyers
No Sleep is a visual history of the halcyon days of New York City club life as told through flyer art. Spanning the late 80s through the late 90s, when nightlife buzz travelled via flyers and word of mouth, No Sleep. features a collection of artwork from the personal archives of NYC DJs, promoters, club kids, nightlife impresarios and the artists themselves. From £19.99 on Amazon.
Night Fever – Designing Club Culture
Nightclubs and discothèques are hotbeds of contemporary culture. Throughout the 20th century, they have been centres of the avant-garde that question the established codes of social life and experiment with different realities, merging interior and furniture design, graphics and art with sound, light, fashion and special effects to create a modern Gesamtkunstwerk. Night Fever: A Design History of Club Culture examines the history of the nightclub, with examples ranging from Italian nightclubs of the 1960s that were created by members of the Radical Design group to the legendary Studio 54 in New York, Philippe Starck’s Les Bains Douches in Paris and the more recent Double Club in London, conceived by German artist Carsten Höller for the Prada Foundation. From £40 on Amazon.
Mute – A Visual Document
Mute Records is one of the most revered and influential independent music labels of all time. Through the music of its tight-knit community of artists – ranging from Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Nick Cave’s The Birthday Party and Einstürzende Neubauten to Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure, Laibach and Goldfrapp – it has had an incalculable impact on popular music for forty years. This authoritative, sumptuously illustrated history of the label features stunning artwork and photography – much of it previously unseen – and insights from those who have worked with the label. From £18 on Amazon.
Rave Art documents the explosion of the Rave scene in the late 80s and early 90s, through this superb collection of flyers, invitations and posters that were collected at the time by the author. Parties were advertised publicly and privately with these bright, artistic flyers and invitations, and the enormous underground culture of warehouse takeovers and loud, raucous light-shows in small sweaty clubs developed across the UK, much of it driven by exclusive invitation. Written by Chelsea Berlin, who lived through the movement in its entirety and attended many of the now legendary events, from Club Shoom to Energy and Beyond. From £13 on Amazon.
Curated and compiled by Chris Sanders.