Last week I received a contact form email from Darren Wall, a graphic designer who is currently art directing a book that has a lot of resonance with me. It seemed that industrial designer Ben Kelly was collaborating with photographer Eugene Schlumberger, on a book examining the design of The Haçienda [FAC51]. The world-famous club designed as an adjunct to the Factory Records empire in Manchester. The edition had just begun a Kickstarter campaign last Tuesday. Mr. Wall thought that perhaps I’d be interested in mentioning this?
Of course, I first encountered Ben Kelly as the artist whose use of industrial lozenge perforation drove the die-cut iconic perfection of the debut album by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. He and Factory graphic designer Peter Saville won many awards and accolades for the band’s iconic album. Which I thankfully bought a mint copy of about ten years after its release in the first pressing blue/orange color scheme.
Mr. Kelly had touched upon graphic design at various points but at heart he was an environmental designer, and his greatest musical work was undoubtedly The Haçienda club in Manchester. With 80s clubs being either downmarket holes in the wall or elite emporiums of excess, The Haçienda was neither of these. It was instead a manifestation of the overriding Factory aesthetic that allowed that the package had to match the import of the music and enhance how we parsed the entire package as the audience. As Saville designed the records, Kelly shaped what eventually became The Haçienda.
Like anything addressing the Factory aesthetic, the book will be produced to the highest standard. It will be a 256 page hardcover edition in its mass market edition. With multiple paper stocks used throughout, with a fifth interior silver ink color as well as yellow and black signature stitching for its spine. Of course. Peter Saville himself will be contributing two gatefold spreads in the book entitled “The Aesthetic Of Precaution.”
If you were like me, thousand of miles away from The Haçienda in its heyday, the 3D flythrough by Ben Kelly for an upcoming VR edition of the club below will give a good overview of its scope. Complete with period soundtrack. [I hope Martha Wash got royalties for that one]
The Kickstarter campaign for the book has 24 days left. The book is published by Ben Kelly’s own Chocolate Grinder Editions imprint in three options to fund at, all responsibly priced for a book with this much care taken in its production.
- Hardcover edition with pledger’s name inside – £30
- Signature edition with Kelly’s + Schlumberger’s signatures, pledger’s name inside – £50
- Limited edition with foiled slipcase, signed + numbered edition of 300, pledger’s name inside – £95
The Limited edition sold out so quickly, the team have decided to increase the numbered edition from 100 to 300 to meet the demand. As of right now, 157 slots are still available for pledging. Its good to see this type of book produced to a high standard with prices being less than stratospheric. £30 for anything in hardcover, much less a book with my name in it, seems like an actual bargain to me. And the campaign is currently sitting at 50% funding after only a week, so there’s plenty of interest, obviously.
If you have a taste for Factory design, this looks like a lovely addition to any graphic design/music library. Click that button to join the pledgers at Kickstarter for this one, but hurry. There’s only 24 days left in the campaign.