Books, Film & TV Wednesday, May 31st Words by: Mark Bowen, pictures by: Visualising the Beatles

Happy Birthday Sgt Pepper: the Herefordshire designers who turned the The Beatles into infographics

Books, Film & TV Wednesday, May 31st

Happy Birthday Sgt Pepper: the Herefordshire designers who turned the The Beatles into infographics

There are thousands of published books about The Beatles - fans have enough to make their bookshelves sag.

And with the band's appeal showing no sign of diminishing, writers remain anxious to find new ways to present one of the most successful groups the world has ever seen. While it's true that we will never see the likes of them again, it turns out it is possible to find new ways of looking at them. 

Step forward John Pring and Rob Thomas, a pair of Herefordshire based graphic designers with an eye for providing new insight into the band.

Their infographic book, Visualising the Beatles (£25), covers everything from instruments and outfits to press-conference quips. 

For the self-confessed Beatles geeks, who met as 13-year-olds at Hereford Cathedral School, creating a book that combined the Beatles with beautiful design made perfect sense.

The pair, who live in Canon Pyon and together run the company Designbysoap Ltd, have long loved both the band and information design.

"I have got a shelf full of Beatle books," said John.

"I've also got a degree in music and have worked in the music industry in Brighton, and Rob's worked in the industry too. Music has been an intergral part of our lives.

"When we noticed there had been an increase in information books, we assumed someone had already done a Beatles one."

When they realised there was no such book, John and Rob seized the opportunity to fill the gap in the massively-sized market.

"We put it on Kickstarter, just with the first chapter about Please Please Me," said John.

"We thought if people are willing to pay for it that was proof of the concept. We sold nearly £10,000 of that chapter alone."

The friends took the concept to big publishing houses but not keen on relinquishing creative control soon brought it back to Herefordshire where they teamed up with Leominster-based publishing company Orphans.

And now the book is selling well and firmly on many Christmas lists, the only other question is why the Beatles.

"For me, it's their ability to write incredible songs that are not bound by a single genre," said John.

"But it is also what they managed to achieve coming from Liverpool; to end up conquering the world. There has never been anything like them and there never will be again."

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released 50 years ago, on June 1 1967.

Beatles High Res Images6

Beatles High Res Images7

Beatles High Res Images9

Beatles JPEG pages5

For more info on Visualising The Beatles head to

You can buy a signed copy via Orphans Publishing.

Tile pic from Visualising the Beatles. Banner pic: Mark Bowen / Visualising the Beatles.

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