For this project we were asked to pick one of our favourite songs and present the lyrics in a way that suits the the artist and the musical the genre as well as the themes of the song itself. We were also asked to take rhythm and pacing into consideration and apply emphasis to important lines/words where necessary. After much consideration, the song I chose for this project is ‘XS’ by the one and only Rina Sawayama.
Before starting on the design I thought the first thing I should look at was type hierarchy, something I had learnt a lot about in Week4’s lecture. From my understanding typographic hierarchy is when content is presented in a way that visually conveys where you are supposed to look. By making the important parts bigger and/or increasing their weight, they then become what the eye is immediately drawn to.
I started by looking at some of the poster work of Josef Müller-Brockmann as according to the project brief he made great use of type hierarchy as well as a minimal approach to image and colour which would be good to look at.
Here are some of the posters of his that I looked at;
The song I chose is a pop song so I thought that looking at the posters of Paula Scher (who is known for incorporating pop culture into her work,) would be a great place to find good examples of type hierarchy as well as maybe some design inspiration.
I think all the Shakespeare in the Park posters for the Public Theatre are really cool.
The song is really a critical satire on capitalism and consumerism but on a surface level when you listen to it first it just sounds like a pop diva song about luxury and opulence. I want to stick to that surface level appearance for my design.
When I hear opulence I immediately think of one of my favourite movies ‘Crazy Rich Asians‘. It is a brilliant movie all together but what’s special about it in particular for me personally is how iconic and memorable its end credit sequence is. It’s packed full of bright colours and kaleidoscopic jewels, pearls, dumplings, butterflies, mahjong pieces etc.
Here is a link to it: https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/crazy-rich-asians/
This gave me the idea of using jewels as my incorporation of point into the piece as well as fitting the theme of the song.
The song itself is the epitome of pop as it gives off a great deal of Britney energy. This is why I thought it would be good idea to see what the popular trends are in graphic design.
Here’s a link to a Pinterest board I made: https://www.pinterest.ie/laurabfoy/follow-the-rhythm-project/
I stuck to things that I felt fit well enough with Rina Sawayama’s aesthetic. I noticed a lot of gradients, circles/ovals/oblong shapes and fine lines. I’d like to try and incorporate these features into my design.
I also thought it would be important for me to look at both the SAWAYAMA album cover and the cover for the song’s remix feat. Bree Runway for inspiration.
Sketching my designs
After doing some very simple thumbnails;
I came up with two designs with one of them being more heavily inspired by the album art with a gold gradient background and a slightly transparent band at the top.
With the other design I tried to incorporate those popular design features I mentioned but making sure that it’s still in-keeping with the theme of the song.
In regards to incorporating type hierarchy, I decided that I would put subtle emphasis on key words in the verses and pre chorus’ and that I would base the sizing of the words in the chorus and bridge on the way the lyrics are sung. For example, the “more more more more” part at the end of the bridge has a kind of diminuendo to it and then a sudden emphasis on the last “more” so I would have them get gradually smaller and then make the last “more” really big because she shouts it… if that makes sense.
I also decided on using the typeface featured on the remix cover which is called ‘Benguait Pro TTC’.
Digitising my designs in illustrator
I started with the gold one but couldn’t get it to look right. I tried repositioning things a few times but all the jewels made it really busy looking and I couldn’t get it to look nice so I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out.
I then digitised my other design which ended up looking really cool and I was really happy with it’s turn out. I experimented bit here on where to put the emphasis in the chorus.
After the success I felt I had achieved in that design, I decided to take the gold design and have the jewels placed it the same way. I tried this with two different types of jewels and it turned out pretty well but I still like the pink one better.
I think this one turned out the best.