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Peter Saville on Creating ‘PUNK’ Show Logo for Metropolitan Museum


The gleaming logo, spotlit on the exhibition’s title wall. At right, the cover of the exhibition catalogue, which includes prefaces by Richard Hell and John Lydon.

When it comes to punk, the graphics tend to get gritty–all ragey handwriting fonts and distressed stenciling–but while a hit of GO-RILLA or Kra Kra is sufficient to evoke a Sex Pistols state of mind or a Ramones-era DIY kerning moment, it doesn’t quite capture the sartorial chasm of “chaos to couture.” Enter Peter Saville, who created the exhibition logo for the “PUNK” exhibition organized by the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He used lettering by Paul Barnes to evoke the “coup d’état in youth culture” that was punk. “There has been very little liaison with the Met and the photograph on your site is the first time we have seen the logo actually in use,” Saville tells us. “The logo employs an irreverent use of 18th-century typefaces (by Fournier) in keeping with Nick Knight‘s briefing for the design of the show, which was Versailles on the eve of the French Revolution.”

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