No fixed style
Paul A. Taylor
Mute: A Visual DocumentBy Terry Burrows with Daniel Miller
Designed by Daniel Streat, Visual Fields
Thames & Hudson, £28, $45
Among British independent record companies, Mute Records, founded in 1978 by ‘accident’, has never enjoyed the recurrent celebration that has accrued to Factory, which began in the same era. Mute’s founder, Daniel Miller, is a retiring, down-to-earth character; his portrait in Mute: A Visual Document shows only half his face, as though he is not entirely comfortable about claiming a starring role in a book chronicling a personal project that has stayed true to its mission for 40 years (Factory hit the buffers in 1992). ‘We’re a business,’ Miller says, ‘but we release records because we like the music – even if nobody else does!’
Cover with Mute’s original logo, based on a Letraset walking man seen from above.
Top: Artwork and colour proof for the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album cover From Her to Eternity (1984), with a heavily retouched photo of the singer.
Rick Poynor, writer, Eye founder, Professor of Design and Visual Culture, University of Reading
Read the full version in Eye no. 96 vol. 24, 2018
Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. You can see what Eye 96 looks like at Eye Before You Buy on Vimeo.