A Field Guide to Musical Typography

Acid-drenched incomprehensibility

Rock ‘n’ roll has always loved a good coded message – something to which non-hip parental types are blissfully oblivious but the cool kids get straight away. The psychedelic typography of the 1960s was a prime early example of this – anyone not plugged into the counterculture looked at it and saw a bunch of squiggles, while anyone who was cool, groovy or hip saw the name of their new favorite band. And, perhaps, something more, as in the case of The Grateful Dead’s Aoxomoxoa — the “Grateful Dead” name at the top can also be read as “We ate the acid” if you look at it carefully, and, if necessary, pretend you’re tripping really hard.