Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
The graphic imagery featured on the cover of heavy metal albums (specifically in regard to letterform design) couldn’t be further from the conventions that typographers and type designers abide by. Characters are twisted, combined, and get more distorted the heavier the music gets. As a consequence, precepts as balance, rhythm, and legibility are discarded in service of graphic impact. This talk will serve as a tour throughout the creative playground that heavy metal has allowed for: beginning with the precursors of this genre (whose artwork was influenced by the psychedelic movement of the ’60s), going through the bands that popularized it (with logotypes that are inspired by or directly taken from gothic calligraphic models), and finishing with the metalheads that are pushing things to the extreme (showcasing the work of graphic artist Christophe Szpajdel). In spite of the graphic differences between traditional typeface design (or even lettering) and heavy metal imagery, the advent of the latest font format might have brought these two worlds closer together. Perhaps variable fonts could serve as the entry gate to the underworld of heavy metal type, with design proposals that change and react to the music itself, providing a plethora of hauntingly beautiful possibilities.