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Good artists copy, Great artists steal

Having recently come into possession of the awesome “Factory Records – Communications 1978-92” cd box set I’ve been enjoying looking back at all the great bands and music that made the record label what it was… one of the most creative, revolutionary and highly amusing labels of the time which in my opinion was only really rivalled by the mighty but short lived Stiff Records. There’s so much to talk about when discussing Factory but I’m sure you all know the stories so I won’t go into it here. If you don’t know what I’m talking about I insist you Google it immediately or maybe just watch the amazing 24 hour party people film starring Steve Coogan.

The cover of the box set features the iconic Peter Saville creation “Use hearing protection” which fitted in perfectly with the image of the Factory owned hacienda club with its fresh New York inspired look, colours, feel and loud music.

The image itself or so the rumor goes was spotted by Peter Saville on a building site and was designed to draw the workers attention to the importance of wearing ear protection while using loud machinery.

Impressed by the simplicity of it Peter simply (ahem) borrowed it, altered it slightly and used the sign on promotional Hacienda flyers where it immediately became recognised as one of his many “iconic” icons associated so strongly with the clubs branding.

It really is such a simple but effective idea to take a well known image that everybody recognises (in the above case if you’re a construction worker) and place it in a different environment to give it a new meaning that works so well.

This idea can also be used by yourselves when creating personalised hoodies or t-shirt prints, especially for stag do’s and such like.

When ordering at Banana Moon many people just ask for plain text (eg. bobs stag do 2013) but without much effort you can easily turn a plain t-shirt into your own inspired masterpiece just by adding a familiar image and maybe adding a funny one liner to it.

Peter Saville 'Use Hearing Protection' Image Banana Moon

As I said before Peter Saville did alter the image to make it his own and I’m sure neither Peter or I wish to condone any copyright infringement here but have a good look around the internet and see what you can find to make your print a bit more interesting.

If you don’t feel comfortable (ahem) borrowing other people’s artwork please take comfort in the words of another great artist of our time…

Good artists copy, Great artists steal
Pablo Picasso

What Picasso meant by this is a good artist can copy a famous piece of artwork and show great skill while doing it but if you steal the idea and make it your own by improving it you are truly a great artist indeed, as illustrated here by Marcel Duchamps magnificent moustache masterpiece L.H.O.O.Q.

Who can argue with masters like these!

LHOOQ by Marcel Duchamps Banana Moon


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