HIPHOPTYPEBOPS

Dare I say so myself— thrilled about today’s issue!

Okay, I was somehow able to send this week’s issue out on time, but things took a serious turn for the crazy since I first typed the sentence above^. Ever heard the expression, “The dog ate my homework”? Something along the lines, but switch out dog for cat, ate for gashed, and homework for my hand.

Back to our regular scheduled programme! Today’s issue in honour of my (and I reckon, many typographers’) love and intrigue about the relation between typography and music.

PS. Read till the end. I promise this is going to be a fun one!

🍄 Trippin’ Type ☮️

You know you know it— fantastic subject matter, kaleidoscopic and spiral patterns, tons of ornamentation and floral motifs, bright colour, extreme detail, and groovy typography.

Hippie and trippy, if you must.

The psychedelic genre of music attempted to bring into sound the experience of using hallucinogenic drugs. The genre peaked in the 60s, focussing on the use of exotic instrumentation, experimental techniques, loose rhythms, and free-flowing style.

As part of this wave, bands and artists had to find innovative waves to bring fans and crowds to their concerts. Enter, Design. Instead of delivering clear messages, psychedelic posters advertising concerts were made to be attractive-first. The goal was not to deliver messages succinctly or effectively, but rather, to engage the viewers for as long as possible to tease them with hard to read “feasts for the senses”.

Watch this excellent video to understand designers’ and artists’ influences, ideas and inspirations back in the day, and where the 1960s “psychedelic” look came from.

Their “Design Process”, if you must.

🎷 Custom Type for a Funk Band! 🎸

VULF. I really tried writing about Vulf as best as I could, but upon reading James Edmondson’s lovely story about the process, I really can’t seem to do justice. So here’s what we’re going to do— I’ll tell you about Vulfpeck, and I’ll directly quote James when get to Vulf.

Vulfpeck is an American funk group, getting their start in 2011. Although inspired by classic sounds of funk and jazz, the band’s sound is unique and i-n-t-o-x-i-c-a-t-i-n-g. Start here, and I dare you to stop yourself grooving from one song to the next bopping your head through. Fun fact: Vulfpeck was one of the first-ever headliners to sell out Madison Square Garden without a manager or top record label behind them! I love Vulfpeck, but back to typography.

Vulf Mono is the official typeface of Vulfpeck. The typeface draws its main inspiration from 12 Point Light Italic, a font for the IBM Selectric typewriter. And Vulf Sans. And if you’re thinking this should be as simple as chopping off the slab serifs and making it proportionally spaced—and you’d be right. But remember, simple does not mean easy.

As promised, truly, the only way to talk about Vulf Mono and Sans and the collaboration between Vulfpeck and OH no Type Co is have them to do it. Take it away, James about Vulf Mono (a read) and Jack about Vulf Sans (a watch)!


💥 A Bop of a Prompt 🖼

Every second week, I write to you from everything about punctuation to psychedelia, but this time, LET’S DO!

The prompt is simple. I’ve curated a playlist of tracks, some instrumental, some with lyrics - English, Tamil, Hindi, French. Listen to the songs, get your freak on— then, design album art for this playlist!

Try to capture the vibe of the music through your design— with typography, colour, shapes, visuals, texture, and more! No rules— just you, the music and your canvas.

When you’re ready, be sure to share your designs on Twitter with this link.

In the spirit of inclusivity, I’ve made the playlist on both Spotify and Youtube. Pick your poison!

PS. Make sure your artwork is 1:1 (a square) for that sweeeet vinyl look.

That’s it from me, nerds. I really hope to see all your fun translations and renditions from music → design.

And of course, do let me know if you enjoy such prompts or would like other such spins. You can reply to this email, drop me a DM on Twitter or a comment below! 👇

Have a great week ahead!
🌈 Sneha.