Angus Hyland, like Lorenzo Apicella, is a new partner at Pentagram. Hyland is a graphic designer, a culmination of a childhood enthusiasm for Letraset, a school-age concern with typographics, and a more-than- average teenage obsession with album covers: he first became aware of the term graphic design when reading a piece on record design in the Face. A flirtation with the idea of studying architecture ended abruptly when Hyland visited a few shows and found himself 'more interested in the quality of the blueprints than the actual constructions'. He ended up at London College of Printing and the Royal College of Art, and has since designed literally hundreds of book covers as well as cd covers, fashion campaigns, commercials, letterheads and logos.
Hyland describes himself as 'Orson Welles crossed with Syd Barrett, but more like Syd Barrett than Orson Welles'. His work ranges from James Joyce and Kafka covers for Minerva, adverts for Alfred Dunhill and record/cd design for the likes of EMI and Decca to the rather more rarefied: one of the highlights of his creative partnership with designer and fashion/art correspondent Silvia Gaspardo-Moro was the writing paper designed for the Robert Prime Art Gallery, with five blocked-out lines where the address should be (the gallery specialises in conceptual art). The paper is used for regular contacts, and there is a more conventional version to enable non-regular correspondents to reply.
Hyland is responsible for the covers of Canongate's much-hyped 'bible in separate volumes', published this year. Canongate first approached John McConnell of Pentagram, who warned that he would be very expensive and recommended Hyland for the job. The result was a set of covers each with very different photographs, chosen to reflect the content of the book, but similar in tonal quality. The volumes are designed to appeal to a secular readership, and Hyland says he wanted to produce books which people would 'be able to sit in public and read'.
Religion has played a key role in Hyland's relationship with Pentagram. Before joining the partnership as a principal in April this year, he had already collaborated on work for Pentagram clients Halfords and Boots, and for the Globe Theatre. The working relationship was the result of the launch of a book designed by Hyland about Westminster Cathedral. John McConnell recalls 'standing at the back of the room amid all these bishops and deans, and chatting away for comfort'.