As the image in the first post says, ‘hello’, and welcome to what will become a pleasuredome of art, design, photography and ephemera from the Zang Tuum Tumb record label.
We all know the music side of the ZTT story – the No.1’s, the endless remixes, the exodus and court battles before the rebirth in the dance era of the 90’s. But the visual side, the images that these visionary recordings came wrapped in, has largely been ignored in graphic design history. Whilst other practitioners of sleeve design from the 80’s are celebrated with books and exhibitions, most of the label’s artwork has been forgotten, its creators largely unknown or rather known for other, unconnected, things.
This site will be a gallery of that visual side, primarily focusing on their golden era (’83-’88) when the identity and marketing of the label was steered by press officer Paul Morley alongside design teams like XL / Accident and The London Design Partnership.
It will occasionally venture beyond those years as well, including interviews with the designers, artists and photographers responsible for a label that wore its (he)art on its sleeve and its tongue firmly in its cheek. The intention is to start chronologically and work through the various aspects of the releases as they happened but that will no doubt be forgotten sooner or later as new (old) pieces come to light. ZTT will be 30 years old this Autumn, 2013 (the first release was Sept 26th) so it’s the right time to do this.
All the imagery featured here will be from my collection unless otherwise stated but remains copyright of the label or the respective artists who I will endeavor to credit. I’ve spent the last 10 years tracking down and interviewing most of the people involved and I will be publishing full transcripts of those chats in the future. I welcome input from anyone who has their own items – sleeve artwork, adverts, promo posters or photographs – the main criteria is that it must be an official piece associated with the label. I’m always on the lookout for new items to add to my collection too.