One of the first things I learned in my studies was that stacking type vertically was one of the worst things a designer could do. Samon’s Unfold shows us one of the things that can go wrong when attempting to do so. When stacking type vertically most fonts have varying widths (hence M dash — and N dash – which are longer than normal dashes – ) and it creates a sort of raggedness to the type that is undesirable. However, with Samons efforts here it is a forgivable transgression, good designers always know when to break rules and because they have done so here the type becomes part of the art of the cover. The type effortlessly blends itself to the art without being lost in it. The type doesn’t supersede more important aspects of the design more to the fact it balances and sustains it. Let’s begin with color and how it affects other aspects of the design.
Orange, beautiful orange. Strangely enough despite its powerful and bold statement is not highest on the hierarchy, however without the orange the art would be considerably less successful. The portrait is first on the hierarchy, it’s what draws the eye most, and it proves that white space in design can be every bit as powerful as a full page. Second on our list is the artists name. Because the designer placed it in the least busy designed area of the composition it stands out more so than other aspects of the design.
This is where it gets interesting, Samons name stands out also because of how they stacked the type. It would have been easy to put SAM at the top and then have 2 letters cascade down the page, but in doing it as they have it give the first and last name dearly needed separation, and it is the start of the frame the designer has created in order to push your eye back to the portrait. I can’t lie I’m also a fan of using overlapped type from the artwork in order to help create a simple but effective element that ties the type and design together.
Designs like Kiss Land are easy to look at and say, “It’s not good, it’s just a photo and some type.” While for the most part that’s true, it is a photo and it is some type, it’s also not. While it isn’t as ornate or ground breaking as some of the albums we’ve reviewed it isn’t any less attractive. The photo does a lot of the work here, directing the eye to the title while at the same time drawing you in. It should not be overlooked that the pose they’ve chosen for the album embodies the title, or at least inspires it. Much like Samon’s album the designer chose to link the color of the album title with the strong teal color that gives TheWeeknd definition. The designer also chose a font that invoked the image. The photo looks like it was taken in a hotel room and the font resembles a neon sign. Typically there are 3 places an image would go, top, middle or bottom; choosing to offset it without having another element to balance it is bold. Designers will sometimes place elements of the design in a way that forces the eye and mind to pay attention to it . The positioning of the image makes it unbearable to place anything below it with hopes of balancing it, but design doesn’t always need balancing to be beautiful.