Big, active and sexy

Graphic design agency Big Active takes a seductive approach when presenting its work in a monograph. Liz Farrelly considers the achievements of the eclectic group

That integration is evident in Maitland’s work. He is both a staffer and represented by Big Active; he makes images and art directs. For Basement Jaxx’s Rooty album campaign, Maitland art directed super-slick airbrush artist René Habermacher to create hyper-real portraits, while graffiti artist Rob Kidney was asked to deface the surfaces by adding handwritten type. For Alison Goldfrapp’s Black Cherry album campaign, Maitland applied his signature cut-up collage technique to Polly Borland’s photographs.

Head, Heart & Hips may not be for the faint-hearted – it is provocative, but it stops short of being overtly gratuitous. And the work certainly stands up on its own.

Head, Heart & Hips: The Seductive World of Big Active is published by DGV, price £27.99

An exhibition of Big Active’s work runs at Magma, 117-119 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5BY from 8 April to 7 May

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