Definitely Maybe: Oasis album cover photographer heads to Hartlepool

Images from Brian's work and from his recent exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery.
Images from Brian's work and from his recent exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery.

The photographer behind some of the world’s most iconic album designs has given an inspirational speech to students in Hartlepool.

Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) hosted a visit from Brian Cannon, as it continued its programme of industry speakers.

From left to right;  Grant Hegedus, Brian Cannon and Harry Garrens take a look at the Northern Soul exhibition after the lecture at CCAD

From left to right; Grant Hegedus, Brian Cannon and Harry Garrens take a look at the Northern Soul exhibition after the lecture at CCAD

Brian, through his graphic design company Microdot, is best known for producing the sleeves for leading 90s bands such as The Verve, Suede, Inspiral Carpets, Super Furry Animals and Oasis.

Two record sleeve designs – Definitely Maybe by Oasis and The Verve’s This Is Music – featured in Q magazine’s Top 100 album covers of all time in 2001.

Brian spoke to graphic design and photography students in Hartlepool about his early influences from his coal miner father, who believed drawing and art was “cool”.

Brian knew that he wanted to create record sleeve covers from the age of 11.

I went straight from college to working on my own, and have had some luck on the way but my advice for those looking at a career in the creative industry is not to leave anything to chance, and to research and prepare as much as possible

Brian Cannon

He talked about his early career, setting up Microdot in 1990 and developing a business in photography and art direction which has spanned 26 years.

More than 100 students were at the lecture, where they learned about the inspiration behind the iconic album covers and the detailed work that went in to them in an age before digital technology.

Brian also talked about his promotional materials for blue chip clients including Absolut Vodka, Levi’s and Converse.

He also talked about his more recent career as a photographer with his Northern Soul – A Photographic Journey project, which exhibited recently at the Hartlepool Art Gallery with great success.

Images from Brian's work and from his recent exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery.

Images from Brian's work and from his recent exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery.

The exhibition documents the Northern Soul scene today. Brian said: “I went straight from college to working on my own, and have had some luck on the way but my advice for those looking at a career in the creative industry is not to leave anything to chance, and to research and prepare as much as possible.”

He added: “It is also much harder to differentiate yourself from the many other people in the now popular industry, so take inspiration from anywhere and keep open to all influences to create that bespoke and unique style which will make you stand out.

“This certainly helped me in my career, as I was willing to take chances.”

Images from Brian's work and from his recent exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery.

Images from Brian's work and from his recent exhibition at Hartlepool Art Gallery.