No one should be designing record covers after the age of 30

Recently some of my most favorite people have been turning 30. Not too far away from it myself, I can’t help but reflect on personal goals and where I hope to be at that milestone. Working in an industry driven by the young and ambitious, it’s a constant effort to keep up on technology, best practices, and maybe most of all—maintain relevancy. As I age, what drives and inspires me constantly evolves and subsequently, my priorities too.

At a meeting earlier today, I learned of D&AD, an educational charity that promotes, celebrates and nutures creative excellence. Their site often posts talks from their President lectures, most recently from Peter Saville. Saville has created a series of iconic images, including album covers for the bands Joy Division and New Order, and conceptual design projects that are exhibited all over the world.

His lecture covers his time at independent British label Factory Records, where he became the art director, designing famed record covers. He also discussed his stint at Pentagram, saying that work there has proven useful to him every day since. He attributes that time as a period of huge growth, largely to the fact that there is so much more than ‘just designing’ happening at the firm.

His more recent projects includes ‘branding’ Manchester as an ‘Original Modern city’, and the logo for Kate Moss’s Topshop collection.

Controversially, to an audience full of young designers working in the music industry, he stated: ‘No one should be designing record covers after the age of 30’ and continued with, ‘Music covers are not graphic design, they do not communicate anything, they have no purpose in that respect.’

The video above is from the Q&A, where he addressed what inspires him and how that has evolved over the course of his life. He no longer cares what record covers look like, and his motivation now stems from what the world around him needs, that he might have a part in providing.

See more on the lecture and Q&A