Oliver is most noted for his work with design studios V23 and 23 Envelope, and the work that they created for the record label 4AD (who represented bands such as Pixies, The Breeders and Cocteau Twins). He loves how the artwork on the record sleeves he produced act as a gateway to the music and the personality of the band; the artwork is the signifier. 4AD was all about the music; there was no marketing team, just Vaughan. He loves to reclaim imagery, explaining how he transfers them from the mainstream and subverts them.
He also likes to promote mistakes in his prints; the edgier the better, and makes them a feature. In fact, one of his most recognised pieces - artwork for the Pixies' 'Bossanova' album, was actually produced by mistake. Vaughan accidentally flooded the image with red light, causing a saturated effect on the image being taken, yet he preferred this approach more than the original. I like this approach, as it adds another facet to his work - what may have been thrown out by other designers is used to Oliver's benefit which is a great direction to take. He enjoys collaborating with other designers and photographers, and loves to experiment with imagery. The artwork that Oliver produced for The Breeders 'Pod' album was incredibly forward thinking at the time; and very experimental. Although it appears like he has edited the photograph using digital methods, it was in fact staged in his own front room using only filters to cause the colourful, trippy effect in the image. The individual is Vaughan himself, performing a sort of fertility dance. This was really inspiring to see, especially knowing how well he has done in his career - it would be easy to be drawn into the grips of computer editing in this industry, yet he has avoided doing so.
Ambiguity aids Vaughan's work; he enjoys producing work that throws questions rather than answers. In one of his first roles - working as a label designer (for jams, wine etc) he first began to realise the potential of typography. Before then, he never really saw the value of type and illustration was his favoured approach. It was good to see that Vaughan had changed his opinion, as some of his type experiments are really beautiful.
I really impressed by what he had to say, and mainly by his ability to always experiment with techniques. His work is so exciting and varied that he had to reduce a lot of his talk down to a video reel of his best pieces. It was a fascinating piece, and brilliant to see his range of work. Before I dsicovered Vaughan was due to speak to us, I had been looking at his work as part of research for my latest brief. I was so inspired that I had to get him to autograph my sketchbook (although I did feel somewhat embarrassed asking!)
(I think) it reads "Gemma more visual presents, Vaughan xx"