At the tail end of 1988 and approach from Food Records Heralded the start of a beautiful friendship,
initially by us creating a new logo for Food themselves and recent signings Diesel Park West. Next in line were Jesus Jones, an awkward but appealing hybrid of electro/skatepunk/dance/rock/pop that actually fitted neatly into the non-shoe-gazing indie scene. Both bands were to release albums this year. Strangely, Jesus Jones would fare better in the US than Diesel Park West's American-flavoured lyrical rock. The Jesus Jones album mash-up that was Liquidizer was packaged in one of the four Stylorouge sleeves that won awards in the newly lanched European Diamond Awards in 1989.
Tears For Fears' Beatles-infused masterpiece Seeds Of Love wore a suitably posh and theatrical album cover, and Stylorouge fashioned a pet-friendly series of sleeves for the new Squeeze album campaign (as the sleeve of the album Frank testifies "no animals were harmed in the making of this cover").
The ultimate Lou Reed compilation Retro was released by RCA; Other sleeves included Julian Lennon, Paul Hardcastle, Joe Jackson, FM, The Alarm, Helen Terry, Katrina & The Waves, Bliss and The Kinks.
The Squeeze single If It's Love was accompanied by a Stylorouge directed video clip. Based more on the personalities within the band than the song itself, a set was built as a circular arrangement of self-contained rooms, each one inhabited by the individual members of the band. Rob O'Connor directed and Trevor Rogers produced.
Commissions came in from unexpected quarters in this year; in particular The Royal Opera House, who got Stylorouge design solutions for Die Walkyre and the contemporary Ballet programme which featured the Vangelis-scored Frankenstein, and the Sadlers Wells Christmas season.
Lots of music work this year, from UB40's monster, Labour Of Love to new hopefuls Loves Young Nightmare. They deserved some success for the name alone. Lies Damned Lies came from Scotland, The Darling Buds from Wales; on the MOR side of things, Stylorouge worked with Elkie Brooks, Cliff Richard and Michael Crawford. The pop work undertaken by the company was still spearheaded by Waterfont, the foreign clients included Fishbone (USA), David Wilcox (Canada), Euston Jones (France) and Ian Gillan (another planet). Seriously, Gillan's project had involved a location shoot which took in a thousand miles of driving, from Yuma in Southern California to Sedona in Arizona. Sometimes the ancillary benefits of art direction make up for the lack of budget. Paul Young was putting together a Best Of album, with Stylorouge designing sleeves for both this and the single Softly Whispering I Love You. Maxi Priest's manager Erskine Thompson introduced the company to a number of projects over the years, including Peter Royer, Shinehead and Total Contrast, but Junior Tucker was a company favourite. Ghost Dance held up the northern goth end of things and Imagination wouldn't say die with a camp updating of Just An Illusion and a Greatest Hits Album.
Another highlight this year was a photoshoot in Marrakech with Carmel. Not without complications, it was a great way to meet a fine respectful artist. It would be several years before the company got the chance to work with her again.
This was also the year that Stylorouge gained a sister company - T&CP Associates, whose founder, old friend Martyn Atkins, was bound for America. Not wishing to up sticks without finding a home for his highly regarded agency, Martyn sold T&CP to Stylorouge, and his brothers in arms, Mark Higenbotham and David Jones relocated from their Notting Hill studio to Brook Mews North, to continue servicing their own client base as well as adding a new dimension to the team at Stylorouge. The fit was good, and new work continued to come in for both companies; T&CP, whose history included iconic designs for Echo & The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes, picked up design projects for Take That and Black Box, whose dance anthem Ride On Time for DeConstruction was a number one hit throughout Europe. Martyn, meanwhile, took up a temporary studio residence in Warner Bros building in Burbank, California, where he spread his wings in both design and video. Meanwhile, Mark and David rolled up their sleeves in their new studio, working for Halo James among others.