The year that officially saw Acid Jazz as a force in popular music and BBC launch the long-running hospital soap Casualty.
The year of the infamous nuclear reactor disaster in Chernobyl. In the UK the year breaks with Pet Shop Boys at Number 1 in the pop charts (West End Girls) and weeks later Nana Mouskouri is rubbing shoulders with James Brown and The Damned in the same context. At Stylorouge, events organizers Banks Sadler commissioned the company to create a new marketing campaign for their 'Fashion Forums' one week seminar series in Paris (the perfect excuse for a studio outing). A year or two after having been discovered toasting and singing in the burgeoning South London Sound System scene, Maxi Priest prepares to release his second album, Intentions on Virgin's 10 Records imprint. Stylorouge continue their relationship with Virgin Records as they direct this campaign as well as the debut album by Cumbrian neo-prog-rockers It Bites. The band's front man, Francis Dunnery, would go on to become something of a musical entrepreneur in his own right, writing, recording and producing himself and a variety of other acts for his own company Aquarian Nation. Among those whose paths he would cross some years later was Chris Difford, founder member of Squeeze, who, inspired by Dunnery's approach to the evolving music industry would opt to re-launch his own recording career as a solo artist, also on his own terms. Temporary UK resident Tina Turner makes the album Break Every Rule using British writers, producers... and designers. Following a successful comeback duetting with The Smiths on Hand In Glove, Polydor sign Sandie Shaw, and Stylorouge are appointed to art direct her first photoshoot in many camera-shy years. A supportive role in the shooting of the promo for her Lloyd Cole cover Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken provides a taste of video experience... Another Music Week Award arrives for sleeve design, this time for Best Single Sleeve (Blancmange's I Can See It). Alongside another album sleeve for Killing Joke is work for Chris Rea, Carroll Thompson, Katrina & The Waves, Malcolm McLaren, Hipsway, Danse Society, Junior and David Grant. The British R'n'B scene was prospering, and Jaki Graham, Princess, Phil Fearon and Beggar & Co all release successful singles with Stylorouge doing the packaging honours. Stylorouge designed merchandise for Joan Armatrading's world tour, and George Michael's bass man Deon Estus launched a solo career. Former Matt Bianco singer Basia, made an infectious album Time And Tide, and Stylorouge collaborated with one of their all time favourite photographers Sheila Rock on a spirited shoot, and later with another old mate Paul Cox, before an image was finally selected for the cover. Rob O'Connor art directed a shoot with John Swannell for Paul Young In Milan for the album Between Two Fires and Japan offshoot act Jansen Barbieri released an ambient album.
Meatloaf's album Blind Before I Stop features a Stylorouge sleeve that attempted to wrest him away from the fantasy/motorcycle arena, that had become somewhat jaded by 1986. Stylorouge were invited to take part in a touring exhibition of music related artwork, and the launch, which took place at Paperchase in Covent Garden turned into a bunfight. V23 (who were then known as 23 Envelope), Bill Smith Studio and T&CP Associates mounted their selected work in the spacious showroom, but had underestimated the amount of invitees they had collectively amassed. As with all private views, the work went relatively unseen and the visitors spilled into the streets. Among the guests were Sandie Shaw, The Cocteau Twins, and various members of Dead Can Dance and the Wolfgang Press; among those turned away, a disgruntled looking Ken Russell, who had no invite, but more to that point appeared to have no need of another drink either... Film posters for Stylorouge this year included: Akira Kurosawa's Ran and A Love Bewitched.