Fact: Any band who uses Times New Roman on their album cover isn't going to make it in the music industry. (Feel free to prove us wrong, though). Smart typography selection is as important to a band's image as having a memorable logo.
In 1937, industrial designer and typographer Gerry Powell, designed an extremely condensed typeface named Onyx that became very popular among advertising type in the 1940s because it allowed more characters to be used when space was limited or costly.
Cut to present day and any 90s kid will identify Powell's Onyx typeface as "Nirvana font", thanks to typesetter Grant Alden. According to nirvana-legacy.com, Alden was paid $15 to assist the graphic designer originally hired to create the cover art for Nirvana's Bleach in 1989. Nirvana's signature smiley face, drawn by Cobain, is another "mental shortcut" to identify the band.
Time to test your typography knowledge and the following bands' branding skills. Can you identify these famous acts by their typefaces? Answers provided on the last page.
More typefaces on the next page 7. This band recently announced its founder won't be returning to the group due to his battle with a prolonged illness. As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald: "he has been moved into full-time care in a nursing home facility in Sydney's eastern suburbs specializing in dementia."
More typefaces on the next page 13. Nobody is supposed to know what this duo looks like, but we can certainly identify their typeface (usually in silver), and signature head gear.
Answer key on the next page Answer Key:
1. Misfits 2. Deftones 3. Sex Pistols 4. Godsmack 5. Iron Maiden 6. Muse 7. AC DC 8. Def Leppard 9. Incubus 10. Korn 11. The Beatles 12. Slipknot 13. Daft Punk 14. Aerosmith 15. The Doors 16. Weezer 17. Nirvana 18. Bonjovi
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