Graham Humphreys is a London-based English illustrator and graphic designer creating film posters, magazine illustrations, packaging, DVD inlay and book design. His distinctive rich, colourful style has graced many iconic films, starting with the UK quad and video cover for The Evil Dead. He cites the music of The Cramps and 1950’s B movies as major influences.
Having studied graphic design and illustration at Salisbury College of Art from 1976 to 1980, Humphreys moved to post-punk London and began his career as a freelancer.
An early 1980’s hook up with Palace Pictures led to artwork for titles such as Dream Demon, Basket Case, The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, A Nightmare on Elm Street parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, Creepers (Phenomena) and Santa Sangre. He was paid £300 for The Evil Dead artwork.
In the early 1990’s Humphreys produced storyboards for three films for director Richard Stanley: Hardware, Dust Devil and The Island of Dr.Moreau. The storyboards for the latter were destroyed when Stanley was fired.
Since the 1990’s Humphreys also worked in close association with ‘The Creative Partnership’, a film promotion company based in Soho, London, working on non-genre releases but also designing the logo for the “new” Hammer. He even designed the once ubiquitous Cinema Store bag.
The early 2000’s brought a fruitful collaboration with Tartan Films, with Humphreys contributing poster and DVD design for Miike Takashi’s Audition, and Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses amongst others.
A 2003 re-release DVD of The Evil Dead featured an interview with Humphreys by Marc Morris and Jake West and helped fuel a resurgence of interest in his earlier work. Morris and West commissioned Humphreys to provide the artwork for their Grindhouse and Video Nasties releases.
In recent years there seems to have been an upsurge in Humphreys adorned genre releases. Working for distributors such as Second Sight and Arrow Video has provided a steady stream of high profile projects such as From Beyond, the Basket Case trilogy and Zombie Flesh Eaters.
In October 2015, a book, Drawing Blood: 30 Years of Horror Art will be published to celebrate Humphreys iconic artwork. A retrospective will be held from 29th October to 22nd November at The Proud Gallery, Camden, North London, to coincide with book’s publication…
Posted by Will Holland
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