Sunday, September 27, 2009

John Cage - 4'33''

My latest project involved the Avant Garde composer John Cage and his song 4'33''. We were only allowed to use pure black and white, no shapes but type, and the typeface Akzidenz Grotesk Roman and/or Bold. I used Akzidenz Grotesk Bold upper case only and eventually got to this solution:

4'33'' by John Cage | Vinyl Record Cover | 30 x 30 cm / 12" x 12" | Laser Print | © Kári Emil Helgason, September 2009

I decided that since Record covers were perfect squares, they didn't really have an orientation, so I decided I could make the type turn any way I wanted. I wanted to play with anchoring, mirroring, stability and unity. Additionally, I wanted to experiment with symmetry and asymmetry and how they don't necessarily have to be polar opposites. There is some symmetry in the cover and also some asymmetry. The thin white border along the edge creates tension in a sophisticated and subtle way and the fact that the two blocks of type have the almost same shape makes the viewer want to make sure they really are.