Why do we do what we do? Why do we enjoy things that others don’t? Why do certain things in this world fascinate us? Why do we ask “why”? To be honest, I am not sure why. What I do know is that we are curious beings. No matter what it is, we will discover it, research it, read about it, then, we’ll talk about it. We’ve been through these stages several times in our lives. It is the time for me to go through those again.
Yes, this is an article about Los Angeles. A Los Angeles that has fascinated me for years. I am talking about the Los Angeles from Flying Lotus’s album cover “Los Angeles”. I remember the first time that I listened to it. It was at the time when I was studying graphic design in Saint-Etienne, France. I would visit my family and friends in Lyon during the weekend. I was at Thomas’s apartment, who is a great friend of mine. We were listening to music. He started to play the entire “Los Angeles” album. As much as I enjoyed listening to it, it was the cover that caught all my attention. I was puzzled and intrigued. I thought that it was a better version of the famous Massive Attack album cover. Even though I am a trained designer, I was never able to figure out what is on that album cover, until last year.
While researching for a blog post I was writing for work, I found the answers to my questions. It was right before my eyes. I was happy to find out what it was, yet, I felt disappointed. For a while, I considered the image to be the photograph of a Grace Jones type of woman, wearing a strange leather mask covering her whole face, apart from her lips. Later, I moved on to the idea that the black shape on the white background could be a painting or a piece of 3D rendering. It turns out that I was wrong. Unexpectedly, it was a sculpture. I couldn’t believe it. All the images that my brain imagined didn’t exist. None of it was real. The sculpture that Timothy Saccenti photographed for the cover is, however, very real.
I understand why “Los Angeles” looks this peculiar and memorable. I also know why it was so hard to get my head around it. I am happy to know that my brain still sees different things, even if I know that the represented object is a real sculpture. Los Angeles is real and so is my imagination. How is yours doing? I’d love to read about the album cover that made you imagine things that aren’t what they actually are.
As people, it is very common to enjoy simple things. A nice smoked piece of meat, a great song, a sip of freshly squeezed juice. Basically, anything that is good to us. I get to enjoy these things, but I also things such as the shape of a letter. This might sound strange to some people, but for designers and other like minded folks, this is pretty standard. We all have a few favourite fonts but when it comes to letters, it is a different story. I love Gotham Black’s uppercase G!
I remember the first time I saw that letter. It was in a documentary by French filmmaker Jean-Baptiste de Laubier entitled “Hooligan Disco”. The font was used on a black background in between sharp cuts of Para One’s US touring footage. It was there to introduce the viewer to the upcoming chapter. As simple as it was, I witnessed it’s extreme efficiency and was instantly blown away!
From that point on, I did my best to hunt down that font until I got it’s name. Gotham. A font named after the imaginary city of Batman was amazing to me. Actually, it still is! This is why knowing it’s name filled me with great joy!
I was still a student at the time, and couldn’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars for a font. I managed to “acquire” a copy of it through a friend’s friend. Once I installed it, I opened Illustrator and typed in the words “Gotham City” in Gotham Black. I remember staring at the capital G. Trying to understand it. Analyse it. I couldn’t break the reason why it is so perfect. Eventually, I gave up and realised that some things aren’t meant to be decoded and understood. Some things are just meant to be admired.
Sharing is something that is dear to me, which is why I started blogging. I have held several blogs now and this was when I started blogging. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually committed to one blog, and a few years back I started Hello Sounday.
A year ago, I was let go because my skillset wasn’t the right one for the company I was working for at the time. They hired for my skills in logo design and visual identity whilst they were mainly focused on web design. This made me think about what I really wanted to do and I’ve had a lot of doubts. I still do, but then, who doesn’t. I’ve realised that it’s ok to question yourself. I know that it has been just over a year since I last updated Hello Sounday, and that I abandoned it because “I was too busy doubting”. I guess that I was afraid of committing to it. Silly thought I know! All because I questioned myself. You know what? Deep down, I’ve missed writing! I’ve missed writing about the little things that I enjoy. Not to mention that I miss writing for you. Which is why I would like to spend more time researching a subject matter and write about it. I miss using my curiosity for something bigger than me. I also miss writing stuff that makes sense (to me).
So here we are! Hello Sounday is back and this time, I will do my best to create better content than I used to because there is always room for improvement. If you are happy to know that I am back and have special requests content wise, please do let me know.
Welcome back and have a sound day!
If I remember, I wrote a post a year ago or so about making music. I have never talked about my work on album covers. To be honest, I’m kind of happy about being a graphic designer, because I get to make my album covers myself and like I want. I’ve always enjoyed illustrated album covers and never really went for it. I’ve always been about very clean, photographic or vector artworks with typefaces until one day.
Sometime around December 2012 I released an EP under my Tremät Tämert alias. The EP, entitled “Wookie”, was different from what I used to do. I felt good about it because I finally managed to create a sound that I really was into. I think trap and wonky music was getting big at the with the releases of TNGHT, DJ Carnage and Baaeur. With that new sound and a new direction for me, I decided that I was going have a different kind of visual universe. Something a bit more… Weird. Less clean.
I loved that cover for a long time because I had gone away from the geometric based kind of thing that I used to do (all the time)!
Even though I was highly inspired by the producers listed before musically, one cover really inspired me visually.
DJ Carnage’s “Bang” by Niv Bavarski.
I’ll probably start posting a bit more posts about my work, even though I already said that previously. I am being seriously serious this time.
Have a sound day!