Simon began working in the print industry after gaining a BA at Manchester College of Graphic Design in the late 1970s, at a time when local punk and new wave bands were always sneaking in to put together their own sleeves and flyers. From Manchester, he worked for South Yorkshire council, then became a designer for the Peak National Park, and later worked as a designer for one of the Park’s main printers. He also began freelancing on a variety of design work while based in Sheffield. After early commissions for 4AD – their second ever single release (“I wish I’d kept a few more copies, it’s now very sought after!”) – and Harvest, he began focusing on music packaging for locally based Native Records and has since designed hundreds of CD packages. Many were done for the much admired reissue label RPM in the early 1990s, where Simon pioneered the use of large fold out CD inlays to incorporate images and text – several releases being awarded the coveted CD of the month status in Record Collector magazine and elsewhere.
More recently Simon ran his own more niche reissue label Purple Records as well as working on designs for EMI, Sanctuary, Sequel, Warners (in America), VAP Records (in Japan), Connoisseur and others. His packaging for the anniversary edition of the Deep Purple album Burn was voted ‘best reissue of 2004’ in Classic Rock magazine, and a 6CD box set he designed (which incorporated a 150 page colour book) was a close runner up to ‘best box set of the year’ in Mojo Magazine in 2003 and Record Collector. Simon also oversaw Deep Purple’s back-catalogue projects for EMI and their management for 30 years.
Simon is new closely involved in designing a number of the Easy On The Eye book titles, and enjoying the freedom afforded by not having to worry about whether the end result will fit inside a CD case! As well as this Simon has also written and researched some of the projects. Outside book design, Simon has been getting back into print making and exhibited locally.