A Gallery Of Jayne Helliwell’s Work

22.04.10 Words by: Charlie Jones

Jayne Helliwell, who we covered in the article below, passed away last week. She is sadly missed, and our thoughts are with her family.

Having worked with Joy Orbison, Banjo Or Freakout, Hounds Of Hate, The Big Pink and Crystal Fighters amongst others, London-based graphic designer JAYNE HELLIWELL has forged a reputation for exciting, instinctive and innovative design. “I think it’s all about making sure what you design has a purpose, that it’s doing it’s job,” she explains over the phone on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Having graduated with a degree in illustration and animation from Kingston a few years ago, she moved into graphic design because of the freedom it offered her. “I like changing the way I work for whoever I’m working for; it’s about how they want to come across,” she says. She’s as inspired by Bauhaus school of thinking (“good for your design education: simplicity and function”) as she is the “brilliantly autonomous vanguard” Klaus Pinter and the “surreal, precocious and unconventional” Encyclopedia Pictura. It’s that appreciation of both simplicity and surrealism that gives her design real freshness and edge. With an exhibition and book on the cards with friends/collective Leg Mountain, alongside her record cover art and video directing work, this year looks set to be hers. It’s something she’s very much taking in her stride, saying “it’s only really in the last year that it’s come together and now it’s all I do, just design.”

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Logo: Doldrums
“Doldrums is Joy Orbison’s start-up label so it’s been really good working with them from the offset. He firstly wanted a logo. As a word doldrums colloquially means to be in a rut but it’s also a nautical term for a low-pressure area around the equator, a calm part of the sea basically. I’d been mocking up this digital lobster and then I got an email that said, I’m thinking of a lobster…”

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Cover artwork: Gentle Friendly
“I had a bit of a midlands allegiance with Gentle Friendly; we’re from a similar place. They had all these great 70s snapshots of their parents and had this idea of using them because it was their first big release. It’s a brilliant idea of showing your parents what you’re doing by putting them on your record. Their sound is quite DIY and collapse-y, and I wanted to have that element of handmade-ness about it.”

trencher

Video: Trencher
“I like Trencher, they’re fun. All their songs are really, 2 minutes…now go! Liam from the band asked me if I wanted to do a video. It was a pretty intense one, a labour of love. I sat down for a week and just did it. I work better in the evenings, I feel a lot calmer. There’s something about working at night that makes it more of a cherished thing.”

Wallfly

Exhibition curation: Wall Fly
“The whole point of the Wall Fly exhibition was that band posters get so lost now. It’s a shame that they disappear so I really enjoyed working on it. Having said that, liked that the prints were just editions of four.”

Sbtrkt

Cover artwork: SBTRKT
SBTRKT is a really nice, mild natured producer, very chilled. Young Turks asked me to do this record cover. I was chatting to him and he was telling me about this mask that he DJs in. I wanted it to look quite archival, like a study of a mask you might see in a museum archive, keep it really simple.”

houndofhate

Video: Hounds Of Hate ‘I Like Triangles’
“I’d done some work for Back Yard before, and I know Stan from Hounds Of Hate from being out and about at shows, so we starting talking about a video for them. They had some really good ideas and their music is gratifying. I really love their set up and all their equipment. So that’s where the idea came for this video came from. We used a lot of different types of cameras and old monitors and filmed everything back off each other, so it was quite a circular process. That kind of seems how they approach what they do as well, so we kind of tried to mirror that in the video.”

Crystal Fighters

Cover artwork: Crystal Fighters
“One of the girls in the band is from the Basque region. Her family discovered after her grandfather’s death that he’d written an opera and the name of it translated as Crystal Fighters. They showed me all these photos from the area and all the fonts on signs and things were very gothic, hand crafted. For the sleeve font they wanted to draw on the origins of where their music was coming from. With the photo, I wanted a scene that was very London but not somewhere you might initially think of. It’s essentially loads of corner shops and roadworks, is London.”

Big Pink

T-shirt design: The Big Pink
“Milo from the band emailed me because he wanted some t-shirts doing. They’re very particular about the kind of aesthetic they want to give off so he sent me through a lot of stuff that he liked. I found this obsolete photograph and went from there. I wanted to make it stranger, a bit dirge-y because that what their sound is like. The idea of the text, I wanted it to be a bit like a beam of light. Pink and grey are a great combination. It’s a bit spacey looking now I look at it.”

Upside Down

Cover artwork: Banjo Or Freakout
“This was a fun one. I really like his music, it’s kind of blessed out. He already had the photograph and it was really fitting to the music. I didn’t want to take away from the photo so kept it quite simple with the font. I tend to lean towards the more traditional fonts now, when I am not drawing. New fonts can seem dated in a few years time, or even in a few months time. I don’t ever want to latch on to a trend, if you know what I mean. I want to stick to the fonts I know that will still look crisp and fresh in years to come.”

Badlands

Video flyer: Badlands
“The only brief I got was that they wanted a web flyer and they knew the music they wanted to use. So the idea was just about having a strange, surreal occurrence happen. The name Badlands is so good anyway, and I kind of wanted to give off the idea that there was going to be this strange nightly affair happening, quite tumultuous looking. Which kind of how the night turned out! I hope they do more of those.”

Arch M

Visuals: Arch M
“He doesn’t play very often but he had a few shows including this one at the ICA and one at GALVANIZED! Festival. Visuals were something we had been in conversation about for a while. It was quite cut and paste-y animation. It gets a bit weird. In amongst the triangles, stuff begins to move and this hooded figure appears. It used to be integral in, say, the 70s to have visuals. It doesn’t seem to happen so much now but when it’s quite integrated into what a band is playing I think that’s great. It should happen more.”

Ali Love

Video: Ali Love
“The song is about that day-after-the-night-before feeling. That’s why I decided to use double exposure to suggest that. I wanted it to be quite simple and graphic because the nature of his music is quite upbeat and clean sounding. But I also wanted it to feel enclosed, like he was being enveloped. You know how we all feel when we’re hungover, that cloudy feeling. I filmed food dye in water in a giant champagne glass. Food dye is brilliant in water. I managed to stain quite a few things with it though.”

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