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W e already have a perfect song with intelligent lyrics, backed up by a fabulous video. What’s the last thing we need? A beautiful packaging. And who’s the only person who could create it? No one but Mark Farrow himself. His design of various Being boring single releases is simply, as the song itself, a masterpiece.

Regular releases present white background, wonderful sepia-tinted photos by The Douglas Brothers and black text written using one of the most beautiful fonts ever—Helvetica Neue. Being remixed records’ design does look remixed as well—instead of black and white palette it has navy blue background plus yellow and red text.

Does it look simple? Yes. But in this case “simple” means “perfect.” As a friend of mine once said, one look is enough to understand nothing better could ever be designed. Everything is on its place. Everything seems right. Nothing is missing and nothing seems unnecessary.

In my opinion Being boring (and similarly looking Behaviour) has one of the most beatiful sleeves ever. Along with 1995’s Alternative and 1996’s Before and, as a matter of fact, most of other releases from Pet Shop Boys, for me it’s the reason to be proud of my collection not only because of the music.

B ut looking at the sleeves of different releases, it becomes obvious what is Farrow’s design from start to end, and what fell into wrong hands that ruined everything.

Basically, the originals all come from United Kingdom. 7” vinyl (but only white label version), cassette, CD and both 12” vinyls (Being boring and Being remixed—but excluding the label) are evidently designed by and only by Mark Farrow.

Unfortunately, almost every other release is somewhat flawed design-wise. The labels of alternate version of UK 7 inch vinyl are completely different from Farrow’s vision. German releases, despite looking very similar, all have additional markings and text spoiling the perfect design. The CD, let alone spine written in different typeface, contains a terrible typing mistake—“Being boing (extendend mix).”

What’s more, some of the other releases, such as Australian seven-inch record, show no resemblance to Farrow’s work, being released in generic record company sleeves.


p. 137
Information about Mark Farrow.
Farrow Design’s website.

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Created and maintained by Marcin Wichary.
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