In his own words, Stanley Donwood is not many things: a clear thinker, a forward planner, a smart operator, an astute businessperson, a public speaker, or a responsible parent.
He is however, the art director (for want of a better title) of the well-known musical group called Radiohead, a gracious host, a talented, hilarious wordsmith, and a wonderful guest editor. Stanley Donwood was first asked to come into the Radiohead fold to help his uni mate Thom Yorke with the cover art for the seminal 1995 album, The Bends. And since then, well he’s just been part of the furniture, creating extended bodies of work for each record, each as meticulously thought out and sweeping as the albums themselves. Outside of his prolific work with Radiohead, Stanley’s shown his work around the globe, written and published books, been the official artist for Glastonbury Festival, the list goes on. If that’s not someone with the necessary pre-requisites to temporarily take charge of this vessel, then I don’t know who is. Here’s what Stanley handpicked to fill the pages:
Radiohead: The Albums
Behind every album cover, there’s a story. It just so happens that Stanley Donwood did all the cover art for eight of the nine album covers, and he has an equal talent for misadventure and story-telling. From cycling through the Alps with the band, to having a gun poked in his grill after winning a Grammy, Radiohead: The Albums is a riot start to finish.
We were lucky enough to spend a little time with Chris Hopewell in his print shop in Bristol, and knew we needed to find out more. As well as designing and printing posters for some rather influential bands—Queens of the Stone Age, The Knife, Radiohead—Chris also directs music videos. The first was for “There, There”, and since then it’s been a rollercoaster of works of art and despair. We got the lowdown from the man himself.
Peter Kennard’s widely regarded as the most significant British political artist currently living. Seeing as he’s had a profound effect on the career of Mr Donwood, we thought it apt to take a journey through some of Peter’s most influential and cherished works, as well as his most recent work with Cat Phillipps as part of the collective kennardphillips. Cutting artwork for a worrying time.
The Box Set
As always, for those who like to do things properly, we’ve also produced a box set to accompany our annual guest editor issue. Carefully selected by Mr Donwood himself, it’s a treasure haul of trinkets reflective of our one-time ed. There’s a custom Moleskine inscribed with the iconic pointy-toothed bear, a specially made record reflective of Stanley’s ‘Holloways’ experience (an expedition that spawned some of his most famous work), stickers, badges, and an MC x Paterson pointy-toothed bear cap.