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David Storey

David Storey is now a renowned figurative painter, but he began his creative life as a designer of some of the UK's most iconic music imagery, working alongside John Sims and Jerry Dammers to create a graphic identity for The Specials and their label, 2-Tone.


Born in 1954 in West Cumbria, David Storey began his creative studies at the iconic Hornsey Art College in 1972. The HCA was renowned for its experimental and progressive approach to art and design education, which might explain how Storey has been able to balance two very different kinds of artistic practice in subsequent years.

Storey went from the HCA to Middlesex Uni and began designing album covers while he was there, producing work for Elton John's Rocket Records.

Upon leaving education Storey went straight into a job at Chrysalis Records and 2-Tone Records (a sub-label founded by Jerry Dammers of the Specials and backed by Chrysalis), becoming Art Director for both labels by 1983.

“I'm particularly proud of the work I created for 2 Tone”

At 2-Tone he created some of the genre's most iconic imagery for The Specials, The Selector, The Beat and Madness, working alongside John 'Teflon' Sims. They made a strong team; Sims taking on the typography, Storey focussing on the pictorial/collage side, with creative direction from Jerry Dammers all the way. Storey left the job in 1984 but was kept on retainer to produce artwork for Dammers.

When record label, Go! Discs, was launched in Hammersmith, London they looked to David Storey to design for one of their major artists: The Housemartins.

In recent years, though he has still kept a hand in the album design world, Storey has become a renowned figurative painter, represented in the UK by Panter & Hall.

“It was an exciting time for me personally and a privilege to package and promote such a unique style of music”