He says: N is for Numbers

If Man is five, if Man is five, if Man is five
Then the Devil is six, then the Devil is six
The Devil is six, the Devil is six and if the Devil is six
Then God is seven , then God is seven – Pixies


In my late teams I discovered something very special and it changed the way I looked at everything.

Firstly I found the graphic design and typography of Vaughan Oliver whose album covers for 4AD were groundbreaking. His work inspired my own typographic direction and made me the designer I am today.

Secondly I became aware of the photography of Simon Larbalestier whose black and white and toned prints left me breathless and reaching for my camera.

And finally, the last point in the triumvirate is the band Pixies. Their music hit me like a powerful wave and their lyrics influenced my own writing to the point where I wrote a novel based on the lyrics of the song ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven.’ (See below.)

And here is where this post comes together because the cover artwork for the song as well as all the other Pixies album and ep covers were designed by Vaughan Oliver and photographed by Simon Larbalestier.

N is for Numbers.

How best to illustrate Numbers and honour the 3 great influences on my life? Simple. Recreate the album cover of Monkey Gone to Heaven and so here it is and below that, the original artwork.





Original artwork for Monkey Gone to Heaven courtesy 4AD records.


I had so much fun creating this image that I think I might have a go at a few more album covers, replacing key elements with kids toys. Maybe I’ll make it a new series. Once we’ve reached Z anyway.


It took Ava Nicholson seven seconds to drink her first whisky. Seven more to order a refill. Smouldering in a dimly lit bar. Evaporating rain and cigarette smoke giving her an other-worldly look. A world where life was measured in whisky. Population one. I could empathise. Seven million people in London and I was the only one watching Ava Nicholson glow through precipitation-shimmer. A saint beneath her halo looking anything but angelic. I had nothing better to do and nowhere better to do it. I was waiting for someone so it might as well be Ava Nicholson.

A passage from my novel ‘Waiting For Don Jones.


One thought on “He says: N is for Numbers

  1. Pingback: Stand Up Eight | THE ICONOPHILE

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