Eighth Wonder come good with a hit single.
Written by The Pet Shop Boys, I'm Not Scared is a big UK success. All About Eve performed similarly, with Martha's Harbour entering the Top Ten, and the then 'not-so-live' Top Of The Pops letting the band sit through their performance talking while the playback was only heard in peoples living rooms - not the TV studio... Stylorouge are invited to contribute to an exhibition of contemporary design at new Parisian arts venue Le Locomotive.
On the film poster side of things, the client roster had expanded to include Warner Brothers and PolyGram. Warners commenced proceedings by commissioning an elaborate promotional booklet for the movie Gorillas In The Mist, which involved some fine wood-cut illustration work by fellow studio tenant Chris Welch. This was the peak of the singles market in the music industry; there was no limit to the amount of different formats that could be produced - one Phonogram single was commercially released in 13 different formats! A lot of complex art direction was going on this year. Valued clients like Tears For Fears marketing manager Dan Weisselberg encouraged strong visual input from design agencies. Love And Money rode the crest of the Scottish blue-eyed soul/indie wave and Stylorouge aided the genre confusion with a tantalisingly abstract album shoot courtesy of photographer David Scheinmann and stylist Zanna (now both notable film-makers). Other new clients this year were LoveTrain, November One, MTV VJ Richie Rich, whose Turn It Up single launched him as a recording artist, Empire, The Other Ones, Bliss and The Mission, for whom Stylorouge undertook a range of merchandise items. A number of US projects came to Stylorouge this year; sleeve designs for Steve Earle (the magnificent single Copperhead Road), Donny Osmond and the lovely Louise Goffin, daughter of Carole King, for whom a shoot with Sheila Rock supplied the images for an album cover.
ironically, many of the UK acts the company worked for gaining more attention in America. Classy pop duo Waterfront had a succession of well bought singles, the best of which, Cry, reached the US top ten, Joe Jackson released a live double album, and the London-based four piece, the Escape Club innocently released a single, Wild, Wild West, which went straight to No.1 in the US pop chart. For anyone reading this chronologically, this involved another south Kent coast photosession, but at least it had an appropriately American photographer, Nels Israelson. Number one in the UK singles chart during the year was With A Little Help From My Friends by Scottish heart-throbs Wet Wet Wet and the Barking Bard Billy Bragg. The real winners were Childline, for whom the release was a fund-raiser. Mark Caylor was the new boy at Stylorouge, having met creative director Rob O'Connor at Chelsea School Of Art where Rob was a visiting lecturer. Mark's illustrative style and idiosynchratic (look it up Mark) typography added a new dimension to the Stylorouge crew, and his touch with montage lent itself to a variety of projects including a corporate compilation, The Red Tape for CBS Records, and Apples And Oranges for Dexy's offshoot band The Blue Ox Babes for GoDiscs. Go Discs was where Stylorouge first came across Phil Jupitus, who was then known as Jumbo, and had apparently been promoted to the staff there from having been Billy Bragg's 'Man Friday'. Following one meeting at their Hammersmith offices Rob had left leaving behind some copy. By the time he'd returned to Paddington, "Jumbo" Jupitus had faxed through with a hand-drawn cover sheet based on the poster for the movie Robocop, with the slight alteration to the logo, which read "Roboconnor: Half Man Half Machine Half Pony Tail". If ever the stand-up/TV celebrity career goes awry, then a lucrative one as a cartoonist surely awaits.
Sandie Shaw had moved to Rough Trade, and her first album in years was accompanied by a Stylorouge art directed sleeve. The shots were by Peter Ashworth, and the title Hello Angel, was taken from the opening greeting from one of the many postcards she had previously received from Morrissey.
The Works was the title of former teenybop star Nik Kershaw's comeback album, which featured photography by Nic Georghiou, and in this year All About Eve made a breakthrough with their single What Kind Of Fool. The sleeve was a painstaking photographic creation in a Pre-Raphaelite style, photographed by David Scheinmann and art directed by Rob O'Connor. The image created as much of a stir as the single though, as it was re-licensed to advertise Grand Marnier the following year.
Other music related projects this year included Steve Winwood, John Astley, Matt Bianco, Clive Griffin... and from France, the album Pour Nos Vies Martiennes by Etienne Daho.
With clarification of the erstwhile foggy copyright law came a bunfight of intellectual property negotiations, and, along with about seventy other designers working in the music industry, Stylorouge were instrumental in the foundation of AMID, a trade organization set up as forum to address the interests of those involved in design for music.
Movie campaigns for the company this year included madcap black comedy Sticky Fingers, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in Ironweed, and the poignant anti-apartheid feature A World Apart. A tentative foot in the door of the fashion industry beckoned as Stylorouge were beginning to work more closely with the Coppernob company who owned the Snob chain of retail stores at that time.