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An Interview with Peter Saville on the Visual Language of the Floppy Disc

Keith Bormuth

"Knowing nothing about computers nor having access to any information about computers I began to dream of a language .... I was making up a pseudo-coded aesthetic and I decided that colour might be a way to represent information and that simple bars or blocks creating combinations of colours could act as a form of code or language."

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  • Keith Bormuth

    And another gem from Saville: "They were trying to teach graphics as epitomised by the recognised practitioners of the time—a Milton Glaser or a Pentagram. But they’d lost grasp of the moment. The agenda was how to find witty visual puns to summarise a situation: a logo for a restaurant could be a bite out of a plate. Well, to a young person growing up on Roxy Music, that was utterly banal. I won’t spend five minutes thinking down that line. It’s stupid. It tells me nothing about the restaurant …. What I learned from style culture was if you dress a particular way, you communicate with like-minded people. I just employed exactly the same technique with graphics. So forget the bite out of the plate. The choice of type alone will tell you what kind of restaurant this is. Get the typeface, size, position, spacing and mood right, and it will tell you. Is it Le Gavroche or is it McDonald’s? It’s the language of semiotics, not of puns."