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Factory Records co-founder Peter Saville honoured with CBE for decades of design

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Peter Saville with his CBE medal, after an investiture ceremony at St James’s Palace (PA Wire)

Internationally acclaimed graphic artist Peter Saville has reflected on his design of the 2010 England football strip after receiving a royal honour for decades of design work.

Mr Saville was awarded a CBE for services to design by the Prince of Wales on Wednesday during the first investiture ceremony since the national coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.

The Factory Records label co-founder said the ceremony gave him “pause to reflect on the last 45 years”, including on the football shirt design which he said was met with some “aggressive comments” in 2010.

As England made it through to the next stage of Euro 2020 with their triumph over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night, Mr Saville said he had been proud to design the team’s 2010 World Cup strip.

I was very pleased to have made the national football shirt to be about something, rather than just a blank pattern

His design featured small multi-coloured St George’s crosses, which he said represented diversity in the game and in British society.

Mr Saville, 65, said some people did not support this aspect of the design.

Speaking at St James’s Palace, Mr Saville, 65, said: “I tried to represent the diversity within our society now, so I had the cross of St George.

“It was probably my design which has been met with the most aggression – with support too – but it was the closest I’ve ever come to aggression in society.

“But I was very pleased to have made the national football shirt to be about something, rather than just a blank pattern.”

When asked about how it felt to receive the award for a lifetime of design, the man behind the distinctive Joy Division album cover for Unknown Pleasures said: “Being idealistic as a young man has resolved itself in receiving this CBE this morning.

“It’s as much a handful of other people who are part of the context of my work, so without others who made it possible it would not have been able to have the effect that it has had.”

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Investiture at St James’s Palace (PA Media)

Mr Saville designed record artwork for Joy Division, New Order and Pulp under the Manchester label he co-founded with Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, Factory Records.

His illustrations have been used for a variety of aesthetics, from collections by major fashion labels including Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein and Christian Dior, England’s 2010 World Cup kit, and Manchester’s yellow and silver polka dot Metrolink tram scheme.

Mr Saville’s designs, which also featured on the advertising for the now-demolished Manchester-based club The Factory in the 1980s and 90s, were exhibited at the London Design Museum in 2003.

The Manchester-born designer said he is now an artistic adviser for The Factory, a cultural space currently being built in his home city, which will play host to the Manchester International Festival from 2023.

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