Duran Duran's 'Beautiful Colors' in Posters

This is a weighty tome, independently released, but with the high-end quality one might expect to have found at the recently shuttered Rizzoli flagship store.

Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran

Publisher: Durandy Productions
Foreword: Nick Rhodes
Format: Hardcover
Photography: Christine Born
Author: Andrew (Durandy) Golub
Length: 260 pages
Price: $75.00
Publication date: 2013-01

Above from the collection of Andrew Golub.

There are fans, there are FANS, and there is Andrew Golub. In the world of the Duran Duran fan – Duranies to devotees – Golub is known as Durandy. It’s a pithy moniker, one which falls short of his importance not only to the greater story of Duran Duran, but also to the even greater story of fandom.

Golub is a collector. That’s true of so many of us who are enthusiasts of one pursuit or another, but when you’re thinking of yourself as a collector, you’re still off the mark. Golub is a collector’s collector, an archivist, a curator of one of the most impressive collections of posters and ads, books and magazines, pinups and memorabilia not only of Duran Duran, but of any artist.

Golub’s meticulously catalogued archives are kept in a climate-controlled storage facility, and often when a print or poster is in less than mint condition, he has it professionally mended, with the same care one might see given a great renaissance-era tapestry. When Duranies visit the Seattle area, Golub generously gives them entry to the archives, letting their eyes fix on one lush image after another.

Of course, not everyone can make it to Pacific Northwest, and even if they could there’s only so much time in the day. For the rest of us, much of Golub’s archives are stored online at, where we can click from lush image to image to our heart’s content.

But there is also Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran, a book which should not only be considered an essential purchase by Duranies the world over, but should also serve as inspiration for anyone else trying something like this in the future.

Beautiful Colors – named after a widely circulated unreleased song from the band’s mid-2000’s reunion, “Beautiful Colours” – is a weighty tome, independently released by Durandy Productions, but with the high end quality one might expect to have found at the recently shuttered Rizzoli flagship store on W. 57th Street in Manhattan. It's a coffee table book in that one might want to have it on display, but it's also assuredly a book to be pored over from cover to cover, in large part a credit to the archival photography by Christine Born.

Adding to the prestige of Beautiful Colors is a foreword by Duran Duran’s dandyish co-founder and keyboardist Nick Rhodes, a man whom one imagines has had a key perspective in how the band has been presented over the years. That obviously goes beyond the makeup and immaculately tailored clothes, and the flashy reputation-securing videos. There's also album and single sleeve art to consider, and with that the associated promotional materials advertising the music, live appearances, and, of course, videos.

One of the most iconic images of the ‘80s is the album cover of Duran Duran’s 1982 sophomore full-length, Rio, which marries an illustration by Patrick Nagel and design by Malcolm Garrett. Visually, it was everything the music it was mean to represent was: Sleek, streamlined, sexy. Naturally, it provided inspiration for everything Duran Duran did at the time, with not only the album’s singles taking up the thread, but also promotional posters around the world for the music and its subsequent tours.

A six-date Canadian tour for July 1982 curiously utilizes only the font and maroon color on its poster, but a return to Toronto a month later sees the album’s smiling woman hovering above a contemporary photo of the band. In Germany, posters hyping live appearances that same year used only the woman’s eyes, as though she’s peering through the slot in the door at a speakeasy. It’s interesting to see how different places around the globe made use of the source materials, and thankfully Golub’s collection is so vast that we’re able to take that journey over oceans and across time with the simple turn of a page.

There are eras where the design doesn’t hold up in the same classic way as it does from their early ‘80s rise, but it’s also where the unified artistic vision was often ignored in various markets. While the band’s eponymous 1993 album – referred to among fans as “The Wedding Album” for its use of family wedding portraits on its sleeve – was a surprise commercial success, posters advertising live shows everywhere from Barcelona to Hamburg to Sacramento could not only have been about any band, but are so uncharacteristically nondescript that they might as well been about a furniture sale where EVERYTHING MUST GO. It’s to Golub’s credit that he doesn’t stick with the bold and the beautiful, though there’s plenty of that to be found, instead opting for an honest representation of the band’s long visual history.

The first temptation will be to flip through page after page, soaking up the familiar and foreign, marveling at Golub’s commitment to his collection. One might even look to see how many shows they’ve seen are represented in poster form (I did – Eight!) But then it’s worth taking the time to really look through the book, to soak up Golub’s well-crafted narrative. Begin, logically, at the beginning, before Duran Duran even had a record deal, when they were playing gigs around Birmingham, and then on tour with Hazel O’Connor.

Rock posters aren’t exactly an underappreciated art form, with books like The Art of Rock and websites like Gig Posters giving the medium its due. But there are few books like Beautiful Colors, which dedicates an entire collection to that of a single artist.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.