A Field Guide to Musical Typography

Regular readers of Flavorpill will no doubt have noticed that we are suckers for anything typography-related, so it’s really only been a matter of time until we found a way to combine our typographic geekdom with our love for music. And, indeed, the two fields aren’t as disconnected as one might think at first glance — there’ve been a number of interesting design- and typography-based trends in music over the decades since bands started putting out albums that needed accompanying artwork and lettering. After the jump, we give you a potted history of ten of music’s most interesting typographic movements and moments. Did we miss anything?

The Beatles’ dropped T

We’ve never really bought into the whole Beatles-as-Year-Zero myth, but there’s no doubt that their iconic dropped T remains one of the most important design-related moments in music — even though it never really featured on the band’s records, this was still the first band logo to lodge in the public consciousness, opening musicians’ eyes to the possibilities of defining a strong visual identity for their b(r)and. As is often the case with important historical moments, the logo happened almost by accident — it was designed by the owner of a London drum shop where Ringo Starr and band manager Brian Epstein purchased a new kit in 1963. The designer, one Ivor Arbiter, got paid the princely sum of £5 for his work.