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  • Writer's pictureDrew

UNIT LIVE! Vaughan Oliver

In November 2016 a fellow student asked me if I fancied going to a Unit Editions talk that he was already going to be attending which had Vaughn Oliver as one of the speakers and was to promote the release of Action - Time - Vision which explores the graphics relating to the 1970s British Punk movement. That sounded great so I looked at buying a ticket and was in luck to find they were still available. As I looked more closely it became apparent that the event was the same day, and it was in London. I asked how the other student was travelling to the event, and realised that they would have had to cancel if they could not get transport. Road trip it was then!

There were other speakers at the event, including Unit Editions founder Tony Brooks, graphic designer Malcolm Garret, Dr Russ Bestley - reader in Graphic Design & Subcultures at the London College of Communication and Sniffin' Glue founder Mark Perry. But I was taken by Vaughan Oliver who was interviewed by Adrien Shaughnessy.

I could have listened to Vaughan all day, he has such a laid back approach sprinkled with an easy humour. It was really strange though because he comes from a town about 12 miles away from where my Dad lived and I would swear that they both have the same accent and style of humour. Must be a local thing.

Some of Vaughan's earlier work involved doing advertising and branding for alcoholic drinks. The result of which was a series of anecdotes about ensuring that a good amount of testing was done on the product in question to help understand its strengths and unique qualities, along with a thorough amount of market research on direct competition, and other less direct competition.

I suppose the thing that I didn't realise about a lot of Vaughan's later work was that he took the role of Art Director and facilitated the process of actualising the vision of the piece as opposed to creating it entirely. I think that this could be an avenue that I should explore myself from time to time since I tend at the moment to want to do absolutely everything in a project from start to finish.

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