When Barber Osgerby’s Olympic Torch was named the Design Museum’s Design of the Year last month, the judges said that the inherent pressure of designing the Olympics made their creation all the more remarkable. Some briefs are so iconic that the intensity of the scrutiny makes them almost thankless, and illustrating The Beatles must be right up there.
So when reached us that California based print publishers Dark Hall Mansion are gearing up to release the first ever officially-licensed folio collection for The Beatles 1968 film The Yellow Submarine, we were kind of nervous. Turns out we were wrong.
Tom Whalen’s designs are marvellous – bursting with colour and energy and resonant but not derivative of the psychedelic aesthetic of the late 1960s. Carefully screenprinted they capture the spirit of the film (and the song), particularly where Tom lets the weirder side of his imagination run wild. Confident enough not to slavishly recreate the band’s stereotypical cultural impact, both illustrator and Dark Hall Mansions deserve tremendous credit for a fitting celebration of a still extraordinary legacy. Top work all round.
The prints are available from May 29.