Praxis XL celebrates the 40th anniversary of Factory Records

Believe it or not it’s been 40 years since Factory Records’ first release. The famed Mancunian independent record label, known almost as much for its design as its music, has been showcasing a selection of its archives at The Modernist Society in Manchester to celebrate.

The exhibition, called Praxis XL, is curated by Trevor Johnson, a stalwart of the Factory Design team during the 1980’s, and his brother Craig. To coincide with the anniversary they have released a selection of limited edition postcards of Trevor’s Hacienda and Factory posters, as well as a badge designed for the exhibition in line with Factory principles.

“I worked on sleeve designs and promotion for Factory and the Hacienda almost continuously for about seven years, from 1984 to 91, and have been revisiting, reconfiguring and reformatting some of those designs for a variety of projects in the last few years,” Trevor tells It’s Nice That.

The exhibition itself consists of a range of archived pieces, from festival posters to album covers to photographs – including some great images of a young Madonna performing at the Hacienda.

The project actually came about in reaction to the fact there were anniversary celebrations in the capital, but nothing in the city where it all happened. “In a conversation with The Modernist partner Eddy Rhead about my archive, amongst other things we talked about Factory and the principles of praxis,” says Trevor, who is currently design director at Havas Lynx Group. “We were aware of an exhibition happening in London, but felt there was a need for an appropriate acknowledgement and celebration in Manchester in the anniversary year, and both wanted to make that happen. The decision on the final representative visual content was a collaborative exercise between several parties.”

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