Apr 042013


With all the recent threads about Mod’s hate/acceptance of ’80s music, we have neglected to fully discuss the style implications of Mod’s musical choices. (Haircut 100? With their short-on-the-sides-but-long-on-top hair, leg warmers, and prodigious use of artfully draped scarves, this is a band flaunting the styles which Mod has previously railed against.) However, I save that for another day…

What I can offer is this: a thread that I believe 99% of us can get behind. The link/post below provides an opportunity for us to

  1. Learn a little about the incredibly stressful work of a graphic artist
  2. Pat ourselves on the back about what would be our knowledgable and artistic visual choices
  3. Recall some music from the past (if anyone has actually listened to any of these bands or albums, please speak up)
  4. Snicker a little.

Let us all now come together and enjoy this:


  11 Responses to “What the Font?”

  1. That’s a pretty good post, but it’s too bad the person picked album covers that have more interesting imagery than fonts. I mean, come on, wouldn’t the person’s points have resonated more if I had been able to focus on fonts used on more regular album covers?

    The mix of the fonts on the Dick Dujour album are especially bad, in my opinion. Well, for starters, anything like Comic sans serif goes to the front of the line for my Least Favorite Fonts.

    I suspect the author’s main interest is in the fonts themselves and, therefore, she is able to nerdily focus on the fonts themselves, often with no relation to the music. It’s remarkable when she actually makes a musical leap from one album’s font to Pet Sounds.

    I’m not a graphic designer, but I do have opinions about fonts. Let me think about the relationships of certain fonts to certain albums and what they mean to me. I encourage others to do likewise. I’m sure there are fonts that are most appropriate or least appropriate to the content within. Severely conficting fonts that get in the way of our liking a certain album. Etc. Not be be competitive or anything (’cause lord knows I’m far from competitive…right?), but I bet we can give this topic a more musical focus.

  2. On second reading, it was an “April Fool’s” post, but I stand by my belief that we can, in the words of one of the Philadelphia 76ers’ announcers, “turn garbage into gold.” Not that the original post is garbage…

  3. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m pretty sure the font used on the “Music To Massage Your Mate By” was used (and abused) between February 1978 and October 1981. Usually it’s on albums featuring a vocoder.

  4. It’s not an album, but years ago E. Pluribus and I completely pooh-poohed seeing Married to the Mob solely based on the title font/logo. A couple of years later we finally saw it with our wives and loved it! They still give us shit about it.

  5. Speaking as a graphic designer/teacher going on a side topic: It does interest me the way the word “font” has replaced the more proper “typeface” in our culture. A font is a collection, a rack of metal glyphs, or a suitcase, in digital terms, of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc. A typeface (Helvetica, Times New Roman) is the word for the style, the way it looks.

    Let’s bring this a more musical focus: It’s not so proper to say “that’s a cool mp3”. We say “that’s a cool song”. The song is the typeface, the creative work, the mp3 is just the delivery mechanism.

    But it’s a fascinating debate about how language works, and I’m all for following the vernacular. If the culture changes, if a word like “dude” (sly wink here) morphs, let’s go with it. I often use the word “font” to mean “typeface” with non-typographic types (though your numbers are growing now that anyone with a computer considers their self a designer), in an attempt to speak the same language.

    That digression aside, I can’t tell you how many albums I’ve gotten over the years because I loved the typeface used, before I ever even heard the music. Sometimes that works out great, as in the case of my devotion to anything on the 4ad label, and sometimes not.

    I do in fact, judge a book by its cover. It’s part of the experience, let’s face it. Would the listening pleasure be quite the same on albums like, say,”The Wall”? “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”? “Never Mind the Bollocks”? “London Calling”? Anything with a cover by Roger Dean or Peter Saville?

    And there are things I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole based on the design or the typeface. And that extends beyond music. Go to a restaurant with the typeface Mistral in the logo or the menu? Bah! A face like Mistral is the Duran Duran “Rio” of my world. Everyone likes to get all haughty about Comic Sans, but Mistral is the real offender. No imagination whatsoever and overused. I’m throwing up in my mouth right now.

    Oh shit, I’m off on one of my rants.

  6. Too bad that crappy Mistral typeface wasn’t used for this crappy album:

  7. I’m reminded of an entire genre that is loaded with imagery that has no appeal for me: heavy metal, including the fonts used on heavy metal albums. Black Sabbath, however, has produced at least 2 album covers with fonts that appeal to me greatly:



    Maybe it’s because there’s something more ’60s about them. There’s a sense of stoned idealism in these Black Sabbath fonts that I don’t get out of any of the typical metal fonts, or should I say typefaces (see dude), which are as pointy as the lousy guitars those bands favor.

  8. It used to be all Medieval Gothic faces (i.e., The New York Times), but what is it lately with these symmetrical, illegible, white on black, scratched on a prison wall with a ground-down fork looking band names that all look alike?

  9. cherguevara

    That album by “The Like” is very good, if you’ve not heard it. It’s a fun mix of garage band meets girl group and catchy as hell.


  10. cliff sovinsanity

    I remember recommending that band and the album to a few friends. One week later the band broke up.

  11. jeangray

    One of those gal’s is Pete Thomas’ daughter.

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