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Handbags, gladrags, fragrances, films, lectures + twitter spats…Barney Bubbles’ undimmed lightbulb of inspiration

//Olympia Le-Tan handbag based on artwork for The Damned's 1977 LP Music For Pleasure, with promotional t-shirt for Fred Burns' documentary Johnny Moped Basically using 1978 lightbulb design//

So potent is the creative legacy of the graphic design master Barney Bubbles – who died on this day 30 years ago – that he is continually cited as an inspiration by contemporary visual communicators, while his name and work is attached to all manner of endeavours.

Recently, Bubbles artworks were chosen by the French fashionista Olympia Le-Tan to lead her exclusive collection of handbags. Meantime Tokyo lifestyle label retaW has named a range of fragrance products “Barney*” in celebration of “the many album covers he was responsible for in the 70s and 80s”.

//Barney* products named after Bubbles by Japanese lifestyle company retaW//

//Twitter feud over Bubbles' 1978 Blockhead logo//

//Bubbles' design for Ian Dury's 1981 single Spasticus Autisticus on the home page for Olympia Le-Tan's online shop//

//Le-Tan's bags utilising designs for (from the top): Music For Pleasure; Nick Lowe's 1978 single (I Love The Sound Of) Breaking Glass; and Elvis Costello & The Attractions' 1982 album Imperial Bedroom//

There has been twitter spat over a group of fans of 90s boy band New Kids On The Block claiming Bubbles’ Blockhead logo as their own while Fred Burns’ recently released documentary about Johnny Moped ensures that Bubbles’ record sleeve, poster and advertising art for the punk rocker receives due recognition.

//Brian Griffin self portrait 2013//

Friends and associates such as photographer Brian Griffin kept the flame during the years of obscurity, which to a large extent ended with the publication of my monograph Reasons To Be Cheerful: The Life & Work Of Barney Bubbles.

Next week Griffin, recipient this year of the Royal Photographic Society’s centenary medal, will be talking about his working relationship with Bubbles during his delivery of the RPS lecture at London’s Photographers’ Gallery.

//Barney Bubbles with poster/programme for Elvis Costello & The Attractions' 1979 Armed Forces tour, west London, 1979. Photo: Chalkie Davies//

Visit the Barney Bubbles Blog for a visual celebration of the man’s career; I have posted a selection of rarely seen and previously-unpublished artworks, including the portrait by Chalkie Davies above and artwork which didn’t make the cut in my book. See here.

Bubbles designs featured on Olympia Le-Tan bags are here and the retaW Barney* fragrance selection is here.

Read about the NKOTB/Blockhead logo fuss here and the Johnny Moped documentary here.

Brian Griffin’s lecture takes place at 7pm at the Photographers Gallery on November 20.

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