Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Making of "Lifestyle Illustration of the '60s"

By guest author David Roach

For the book itself I was brought in as the historical expert (number one in a field of one as Mad magazine used to say!) but the driving force behind the project was artist, designer and all round rennaiscence man Rian Hughes who selected the images and designed the book.


This his recollection of how the project came to be:

“I'd first been aware of Coby Whitmore and Al Parker via Shane Gline's blog, and of course a bit later via Lief's excellent TI. I then did three years of research at the archives of UK magazine publishers, the British Library and Colindale Newspaper Library (where I shot the rarer pop and late 60s magazines) and laboriously edited together the best work from UK sources which reprinted the best of the US and UK material to prepare a proposal - a mock up cover design, a "sales pitch" description, and a sampling of the images - pages and pages of thumbnails."


"I have known Charlotte and Peter Fiell since I designed Peter Fiell's mid century modern furniture showroom in the King's Road around 20 years ago. They had moved on to become the British editors at Taschen, so I first pitched the idea to them. They then left Taschen and set up their own imprint, Fiell, and asked me to come on board as a kind of "pop culture" book advisor, and agreed to do the Lifestyle Illustration and Custom Lettering books. I then arranged to scan and retouch the material."


"The magazines were scanned with the help of Alexis Sheffield, and retouched with the help of Steve Cook (ex 2000AD art editor and photoshop tutor at the London College of Fashion). Type taken off, colour corrected and so on. The photo shoots and canning sessions were laborious processes which took place at IPC, the British Library and Colindale, where I hired a room and shot in situ."


"At some point here (I forget at which stage exactly) I also asked David if he would like to get involved, and he kindly showed me his collection, some of which (the Spanish contingent!) made it into the book, and was an essential part of the later period that the book covers. I laid out the book and then sent the PDF files to David, from which he pulled together the threads of the story."


"From pitch to printed book was around three and a half years.”


Concluded tomorrow...

* Lifestyle Illustrations of the '60s is available at

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