Peter Saville is an art director and graphic designer born in Manchester, Lancashire, England as of October 9, 1955. He is best known for designing record sleeves and CD covers for record label Factory Records in which he was the director – most notably for the record label’s rock bands such as New Order and Joy Division.
In his younger years, Peter Saville attended St Ambrose College in Hale Barns, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England where he studied graphic design from 1975 through to 1978. Saville became involved in the music industry after approaching and meeting TV presenter and journalist Tony Wilson at a show with American singer and songwriter Patti Smith in 1978. Subsequently, as a result, Wilson commissioned the first poster for Factory Records, FAC 1, and Saville became a partner at the record label with Wilson along with producer Martin Hannett, late manager Rob Gretton and co-founder Alan Erasmus.
Through his designs, Saville has been influenced by fellow college student Malcolm Garrett, who had been designing covers for the punk rock group based in Manchester, known as the Buzzcocks, and by graphic designer Herbert Spencer through his book, Pioneers of Modern Typography. He was also inspired by English writer, teacher and typographer Jan Tschichold.
Saville’s design for the second and last album by Joy Division, titled Closer, was released in 1980 soon after the suicide of lead singer and songwriter Ian Curtis in May. It became a rather controversial topic in its resemblance of a buried body of Christ.
As of 1979, Saville moved to London where he became an art director of Dindisc, which was a subsidiary of the parenting label, Virgin Records. At this time, his body of work furthered his income on Modernism, in which he began to produce album covers for many artists and bands including Roxy Music, Peter Gabriel and King Crimson.