Central Station Design

Factory Records design and designers

"It was a fantastic idea to differentiate our little cottage industry record label (run out of Alan Erasmus and Charles Sturridge's flat in a Manchester suburb) by having sleeves that were glossier, more expensive and more beautiful than those of the multinationals. Great idea, only we never had it. We just did what we wanted to do. And then post-rationalised it. We clothed out single in glossy sixties-EP-style packages. And then men like the great and sadly late Scott Piering, Rough Trade plugger extraordinaire, would stand outside Radio One pulling the indie vinyl out of its glossy arty sleeve and inserting it into a white nondescript 7-inch bag to make it look as if it came from a major label.
"Why was packaging important to us? Because the job was a sacred one. Music had transformed our young lives, children of the sixties all. And now we were in the privileged position of putting out records ourselves. Does the Catholic Church pour its wine into mouldy earthenware pots? I think not."
- extract from Tony Wilson's Foreword to Matthew Robertson's book Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album.
Trevor Johnson (Johnson/Panas) for A Certain Ratio