Jamie Reid – Sex Pistols Designer, Aesthetic Provocateur – Has Died

He was 76 years old...

Iconic British designer Jamie Reid has died.

News of the designer’s passing was confirmed by Louder Than War, he was 76 years old. No cause of death was given.

A life-long anarchist, Jamie Reid’s initial graphic design work took place at Suburban Press, the radical magazine he ran. Drawing on aspects of the Lettrist and Situationist traditions, he applied his own imagination to create something striking, yet easily replicated.

His ‘ransom note’ style typography and continual juxtapositions resulted in something eye-catching but supervise. Drawn into the orbit of the Sex Pistols he produced the artwork for each of their iconic singles, and 1977 album ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.

Continually breaking down boundaries, Reid’s work echoed across the punk movement – even today, groups use his idea as references for their own artwork.

A radical throughout his life, Jamie Reid sought to expand the visual lexicon of British art while also engaging with radical politics. Made an honorary member of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, he clashed with Damien Hirst, fought against the Poll Tax and Clause 28, while maintaining a steady flow of inspirational artwork.

Author and cultural commentator Jon Savage mourns his passing: “RIP Jamie Reid, best known as the designer for the classic Sex Pistols era 1976-79. His ability to render complex ideas in eye catching visuals was their perfect accompaniment. He and I did a book together in 1987: it’s a good one.”

Songwriter Nick Ellis writes: “More sad news. Another inspirational artist, gone.”

Left-wing author Kier Milburn salutes a true original: “R.I.P. Jamie Reid. His involvement with Suburban Press fed into a wider Situationist, libertarian socialist milieu influencing the Sex Pistols and making them much more interesting and important. His detournement of the Cecil Beaton photograph of the Queen is the classic example.”

Jamie Reid is survived by his daughter, Rowan.

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