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Silk Pearce at Aldeburgh Music: a 15-year friendship

31 July 2014 | Posted in Branding | Illustration | Photography | Print

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Elephant in the reeds by Rob Steer (58th Aldeburgh Festival, 2005 brochure)

To celebrate 15 years of graphic design for Aldeburgh Music, Silk Pearce is holding an exhibition in the Snape Maltings Concert Hall Gallery. All the images on show are taken from the designs produced for the organisation, featuring a range of styles and techniques, from photo montage and model making to illustration and typography.

The artworks by Peter Silk and Rob Steer celebrate the creativity, musical heritage and 'sense of place' that draws artists and audiences to Aldeburgh year after year. Limited edition prints are available for purchase. The Concert Hall Gallery is open throughout August (except Monday 18) from 2pm until the end of each evening performance. Admission is free.

How our friendship began

I first met Jonathan Reekie in the autumn of 1999. He had been chief executive of Aldeburgh Productions (as it was then known) for a little over two years and was looking for a design company in the region to pull together the graphic presentation of the organisation. We went through the Silk Pearce portfolio with him in a small room above the box office in Aldeburgh High Street. Jonathan must have seen something that he liked because he asked us to design the brochure for the 2000 Aldeburgh Festival. He showed us some striking photographs that Jeremy Young had taken of local fishermen at sea and these provided the visual content for the first brochure that we designed.

From that beginning the work gradually expanded. In the following years, working with the team at Snape, we defined Aldeburgh Music’s graphic personality – from logos and literature to websites and sign schemes. We have been fortunate to work with the organisation during a truly exciting period in its development and this has provided a range of opportunities that we could only have dreamt of back in 1999.

At my first meeting with him Jonathan said that he wanted to avoid using photographs of musicians but rather portray the unique character of Aldeburgh, Snape and the coastal landscape of East Suffolk. This ‘sense of place’ has always been central to Silk Pearce’s designs for Aldeburgh Music. Finding visual variations on this theme is the creative challenge as we consider each year’s programme brochures. The prints on display are derived from images that we have produced as part of this process during the last 15 years.

Peter Silk, 2014

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River Alde by Peter Silk (Snape Proms, 2013 brochure)

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California dreaming of Snape by Peter Silk (59th Aldeburgh Festival, 2006 brochure)

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Avocet by Rob Steer (Autumn–Winter, 2011/2012 brochure)

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Coastal lookout by Peter Silk (64th Aldeburgh Festival, 2011 brochure)

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Snape birdwalk by Peter Silk (Spring, 2011 brochure)

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Concert Hall Lawn by Peter Silk (67th Aldeburgh Festival, 2014 brochure)