David King in Eye Magazine

Covers by David King for City Limits

Excerpts from a 2003 Eye Magazine interview with designer David King:

Christopher Wilson: City Limits was later redesigned by Neville Brody, who felt that ‘Dave King’s design was successful, but … it did something you shouldn’t do, which is to lay all your cards on the table … [there was] no chance of reaching the wider public who might buy City Limits because they simply wanted to go out and enjoy themselves.’ In retrospect, do you think he was right?

David King: This is really why I didn’t want to design any more: the ‘thinking on design’ and design in-fighting just didn’t interest me. I’ve trained myself over the last fifteen years to be unable to recognise typefaces – that terrible barbed wire that you get into when you see something badly spaced or inept. I thought ‘I’ve really got to get out of this.’


DK: I’ve never been interested in the Fascist stuff. Intellectually, you must have some sympathy with the content of your work.

CW: But even in the case of a horrifically oppressive regime, the design isn’t necessarily bad.

DK: In those circumstances, design doesn’t much matter. The horrors of the regime are what matter.

CW: But to ignore, say, the aesthetic of the Nazis is merely to brush it under the carpet, which is worse than not attempting to evaluate it.

DK: But what I’m interested in is telling stories that aren’t much known about, like the photographs in Ordinary Citizens. The whole thing of Hitler’s Germany has been done to death. People go on about Leni Riefenstahl and Triumph of the Will – it just doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t care how well it’s filmed or what the lighting’s like; it’s a disgusting Nazi rally.

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