OK so like many lads in the late 70s and early 80s I was a huge Blondie fan. Not just because of Debbie Harry either, in fact I was the kind of annoying fan who would point out that it was the band that was called Blondie, and not Debbie. To be honest I’m still a fan now and can still be heard murdering Heart Of Glass et al as I work.
Of course being a nascent graphic designer there was also something about the visual branding of Blondie which struck young me as well. At the top of the pile was the design for a logo badge I had for many years and have sadly now lost. I have had an internet search and it’s not easily found. Basically the design was the official band letter style of the period, in black and on a slight angle. Above this was a simplified silhouette of Debbie Harry’s face centred in the width of the logo. The silhouette was beautifully created. You could make out who it was simply through the shadows around the eyes, under the nose and lips, and along the hairline. Much like the Carrefour logo this image was made up of what wasn’t there and the use of empty space rather than as an illustration. I was fascinated by the idea of this style of drawing, copying it for months and developing my own version using Marilyn Monroe as the face and simplifying down to shadows only.
The other great area of design the younger me picked up on with regard to Blondie was the album cover designs. All very striking, with a punk-ish edge but also pulling from other visual cultures too. My favourite then is still my favourite now. The sleeve for Parallel Lines. The stark black and white lines, the photograph leaning towards monochrome, with the splash of logo red. Eyecatching and iconic.
Sadly my original vinyl copy died years ago, and was replaced not so many years ago by a ‘Fame’ repressing. The feel of the sleeve is slightly cheaper, but the image is just as strong!