The longest running logo design project in Stylorouge history resulted in one of the simplest band brands ever to emerge.
No wonder Blur have felt inclined to keep the logo throughout their 16 year history. It's first appearance was on a tour T shirt, then on the debut single (She's So High/I Know) which upset a small proportion of the very audiences they were playing to. The irony and humour of the Mel Ramos painting to which Stylorouge acquired the rights apparently passed right by the feminist lobby amongst the UK's student population.
By this time the Stylorouge team had changed somewhat. A full-time staff of 11 helped fuel the company's football team analogies. David Calderley (striker) had stepped out of his freelance career where he had been branding fashion labels, dance-orientated independents and laying out lifestyle magazines. Mark Caylor joined straight from Chelsea School Of Art, where Rob O'Connor was a visiting lecturer, and Chris Thomson had joined following an internship from his student life in Salford. Illustrator Viv Dykes had been a friend of Rob's whilst at college in Coventry, and she had now joined the team on a management level... ten years had gone by in a blink and it was beginning to feel like a proper company...
Among the music design projects undertaken in 1990 were sleeves and campaigns for Living In Texas, Horse, and brass-infused punk/funk from France in the guise of FFF. Welsh indie pop band the Darling Buds gave Stylorouge a refreshingly open brief and Jesus Jones' second 'difficult' second album Doubt surprised everyone with a million sales in the USA. The title was originally to be simply "?", with just a bold question mark adorning the sleeve. Fortunately sanity prevailed and a merchandise-friendly character (which would later become known as the demon of doubt) was born. Rob O'Connor spent a short spell in Tokyo art directing two music related projects; An album shoot for pop group The Moonriders and another for campaigning ecologist and singer songwriter Taeko Onuki.
An unlikely musical collaboration resulted in post-punk modernist Tony James stumbling from the wreckage of Sigue Sigue Sputnik to partner Andrew Eldritch in a re-modelled Sisters Of Mercy. James' fascination with computer graphics and mystical symbolism found positive support from Stylorouge, and
the album sleeve for Vision Thing spearheaded the visual campaign that accompanied one of the band's biggest commercial successes – the insistent dance rock classic More. Another band called Seven appeared, by coincidence another Polydor signing, Robert Lloyd got a solo deal with Virgin, and significantly Warners approached Stylorouge with a project for one of the company's favourite artists, Danielle Dax. Hands were almost snapped off at the offer of giving the queen of backroom gothabilly a change of image. Another project held a similar appeal - a rare single release for The Blue Nile, Saturday Night, which utilized a classic image by the master French romantic photographer Jean-Loup Sieff. New relationships were forged with a number of bands this year; Hothouse Flowers, Joan Armatrading, Ashley Maher, and in the case of Del Amitri a friendship that would last on and off for several releases. The album Waking Hours was the first step. Squeeze had a short-lived change of record label where they were immediately able to record a live album. Given a boxing poster theme by Stylorouge, the band also accepted the company's suggestion of an accompanying title, A Round And A Bout. Some of the more unusual musical artist names to conjure with were Twelve Drummers Drumming, Wop Bop Torledo, Wild Weekend, Chinchilla Green, The Right Stuff, The River Detectives, LA Mix and Underneath What?... One of Italy's biggest pop stars, Zucchero, was launched in the UK, and the thinking man's dance duo The Grid released their debut album. On the film industry side of things, Palace Pictures had moved into licencing movies for sell-through release on video, and Stylorouge were asked to design the Palace Classics branding and packaging, launching with a selection including Jean de Florette and The Belly Of An Architect. Also on the movie marketing side were posters for Monsieur Hire, An Innocent Man and the re-make of the Lord Of The Flies. Work for the Royal Opera House included the winter programme The Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet. Highlight of T&CP's output this year was Sonic Boom's Spectrum for Silvertone Records, which featured an expensive production job; a double spinning wheel gatefold extravaganza.