Jamie Reid, the British artist who designed some of the most iconic album covers of the punk rock era, died on August 9th at the age of 76.
His work, particularly his use of ransom note typography, helped to define the visual identity of the punk movement.
Reid was born in Croydon, London, in 1947. He studied art at Croydon Art College, where he met Malcolm McLaren, who would later manage the Sex Pistols. After college, Reid co-founded Suburban Press, a political magazine that served as a platform for him to develop his distinctive style of cut-up graphics and slogans.
In the mid-1970s, Reid was invited by McLaren to collaborate with the Sex Pistols. Their partnership resulted in some of the most memorable album covers in rock history, including the ransom note-style cover for “God Save the Queen” and the bold block lettering of “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.”
Reid’s work extended beyond the Sex Pistols. He designed album covers for other punk bands, such as the Clash and the Buzzcocks, and he also engaged visually with socio-political movements such as Occupy, Extinction Rebellion, and the Free Pussy Riot movement. Reid’s art was often controversial, but it was always provocative and thought-provoking. He was a true icon of the punk rock era, and his work will continue to inspire and challenge for years to come.