Monday, September 24, 2007

U2 artwork makes European debut

For the first time in Europe, fans of great art and great music can see an exhibition of the design work conducted for U2 by the Dublin-based Four5One°Creative company.

Stealing Hearts At A Travelling Show is the fruit of a 25-year collaboration with the quartet, showcasing rarely seen out-takes of album design concepts, as well as iconic images from the Boy and Joshua Tree eras.

The designers will also be around for a Q&A session at 5pm on Saturday in the Red room.

Designer Steve Averill recently spoke to Hot Press about the exhibition: “Because we were asked to contribute to the U2 exhibition at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame (in Cleveland), we had to focus on the best parts of the story if you like,” he explains.

“We left out a massive amount of stuff because our involvement has been everything from t-shirts to tickets to passes, so we stuck more or less to the main graphic areas, which were album covers and tour programmes. And what we would hope to do with this upcoming exhibition is also to show the work that we’ve done recently for people like Depeche Mode rather than it being a total U2 thing. People will have a chance to see some other elements.”

He also spoke about the relationship between Four5One°Creative and the band:

"Working with U2 is very much a partnership: the band are very involved in their graphic identity. Sometimes you might start off six months or more before an album release to discuss the direction the whole thing might go, and musically as the album gets closer to a finished product, it changes dramatically, so we need to adapt the visuals to suit.

“For instance, Pop was a quite a different cover, up until they decided to call the album Pop. Similarly with the Atomic Bomb album cover, that title was in contention for a while. Because of 9/11, it was a slightly ambiguous title from a record company’s point of view. If that title had changed, that whole graphic stance, which is based around warning signs and the whole military graphic thing, would have been invalid, and we were working on an alternative direction just in case.”

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