Vaughan Oliver, the in-house designer for 4AD who created iconic album art work for Pixies, Cocteau Twins, The Breeders and extra, has died at present aged 62.

Adrian Shaughnessy, a graphic designer, author and writer who co-edited the 2018 assortment Vaughan Oliver: Archive, posted the announcement on Twitter this morning (December 29), including that his demise was a “nice lack of pal and design hero.”


Oliver started working for 4AD within the early ’80s after assembly the impartial label’s proprietor, Ivo Watts-Russell, forming a working partnership that might endure for thirty years.

Oliver’s design studios, 23 Envelope, consisted of Oliver and his authentic photographer Nigel Grierson, who collectively created the art work for nearly each 4AD launch as much as 1987. After Grierson left 23 Envelope in 1988, Oliver continued to work for the label beneath the studio title v23, the place he collaborated with Simon Larbalestier, Marc Atkins and plenty of others.

As an artist and graphic designer, Oliver was credited with establishing the visible identification of 4AD as a report label, and labored on a variety of immediately recognisable sleeves, together with Pixies’ ‘Surfer Rosa’ and ‘Doolittle’ album covers. He additionally labored on designs for the likes of Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Throwing Muses, and Useless Can Dance.

Pixies - Vaughan Oliver
Pixies’ ‘Doolittle’ art work, designed by Vaughan Oliver

In an interview from 2014, Vaughan mentioned he all the time favored to “elevate the banal by surrealism”.


“Thriller and ambiguity are vital weapons in a designer’s arsenal. I attempt to make photos the place you don’t all the time get ‘the message’ immediately – however this stuff go away a hook in you. Leaving some house for interpretation is vital,” he informed the interviewer.

“It was all the time my aim to be recent and in contrast to the rest – to be totally different. To push boundaries.”