Yeah…apologies, been absent for a spell… just a case of real-life-runnings and the task of finishing the words for the forthcoming design tome – Swifty Funky TypoGraffix.

Spot the TOME!

Spot the TOME!

Yes, we’re pretty much done… just the cover now! The rest has gone off to the printers. It’s been one hell of a journey – the last 12 month have just flown by – a journey and Swift has rinsed out his loft (and other people’s), diggin’ for those elusive originals. Though we started out thinking we might not need many words that’s not how it turned out! Swift’s work is rooted in the culture and, when it came down to it, that’s the context we felt we obligated to illuminate.

Mode2 - That's How It Is - Bar Rumba

Mode2 – That’s How It Id – Bar Rumba

For those of you involved in the design world this book spans the transition from the analog, pre-internet, cut’n’paste era to 100% digital output. In the designer mix are interviews with Malcolm Garrett (Assorted iMaGes), Neville Brody, David Crow, Mode2, Futura, Stash, Tyler Askew, Ebon Heath, Mitch, Fred Deakin, Robi Walters, Kam Bhogal.

Meanwhile on the clubland/music front there’s myself, Neil Spencer, Kath Willgress, Gilles Peterson, Paul Martin, James Lavelle, Janine Neye, Joe Davis, the Okino brothers, Jonny Kiat, Robert Trunz et al. You can’t look at Swift’s work without witnessing the evolution of a rich, shape shifting underground culture.

The journey begins in the Eighties with Swift moving from post punk Manchester to The Face. After launching his Swifty Tyopgraffix studio behind Hoxton Square with Straight No Chaser we get to encounter Talkin Loud, Mo Wax, Far Out, Especial, Kyoto Jazz Massive and then journey west to Studio Babylon and That’s How It, MELT2000 is and Fosters Ice/Street Art.  Anyone who peruses this book will gain access to the physical transition from MacSE to Imac to IBook; from floppys to Syquests to email; from Quark Express to InDesign. You also get to appreciate those old skool skills from screen printing to etching. Swift is deep into the craft and has serious hands-on skills. At 300+ pages – it’s phatter than Mo’Wax’s Urban Archaeology.  Expect to be immersed in a huge body of  work and become attuned to an intuitive dynamic that continues to fuel Swift’s restless and relentless innovation. This book needs to be in every art school / graphics dept. library and needs to be checked by all students of contemporary cultural studies.

Swifty funky Typo-Graffx

Swifty funky Typo-Graffx


swift-looking-at-bookFootnote: I’m sat in my yard live steaming the new Tribe Called Quest LP: ‘We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service’ and I’m feelin’ it. It’s right on the button. A blast of deep’n’fresh NYC creativity rising phoenix like above the rotten stench of that US presidential election. But anyway, more on that in the future when I’ve had time to soak up the lyricsm of post Phife Dawg Tribe.

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher / Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine / Editor - L FM : Broadcasting In A Pandemic - Gilles Peterson (Worldwide FM) / Publisher: From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz Dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
This entry was posted in Art, Urban runnings..., Words, Sound & Power. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. J.A.Horrocks says:

    I’m absolutely gutted that I missed out on acquiring a copy, at least I have two of his works hangin’ on my wall to ease the pain. On a side note, nice to see another ‘Jazzical Moods’ in the wild.

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