Hello. I recently became one of the new writers here at Heavy Blog because I’m super ambitious and replied to the ad that was at the bottom of the page. In my real life I am a graphic designer and software developer; I have a bachelor’s degree and everything! I also listen to metal, and this is why my writing on Heavy Blog will be about design in metal. I’m going to review album covers, intelligently discuss the pros and cons of scratchy band logos, dissect the typography of gig posters and harshly criticize anything that offends my aesthetic sensibilities. Hopefully someone, somewhere will enjoy it. My articles will be under the label of Helveticore because I want a micro-genre all to myself. If you would like access to my most private and inner thoughts I have created a Twitter account to celebrate this occasion, it can be found at twitter.com/helveticore.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in. I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now, and it’s not exactly breaking news, but I think it’s interesting and a good way to start off my blogging career.
Let’s talk about Iwrestledabearonce, a polarizing band to be sure. Below you will see their video for “Danger in the Manger.”
The video was created by KOTK Productions and looks pretty decent for something that was filmed in a garage. It contains all the classic IWABO video elements; spastic musical performances, rainbows, goofy random elements, and awkward dancing. The moment that interests me however, comes at around 1:40. We see the always charming Krysta Cameron flailing in front of some graphics. I have screen capped the moment below.
Right behind Krysta is the typeface specimen for the Hoeffler Frere-Jones’ typeface Archer (seen below). There are a couple of reasons why I find this humourous/interesting. The first is that Archer was designed by HFJ for Martha Stewart Living Magazine a publication that would probably burst into flames if it was brought to an IWABO show. Somehow, I don’t associate IWABO’s immature, grindy antics with bunt cakes and 50 different ways to use pinecones decoratively.
The second reason that this is awesome is that it reflects how ubiquitous some of the typefaces created by Hoeffler have become. Before Archer they released Gotham, which was commissioned by GQ magazine, and started appearing everywhere after it was used as the primary typeface for Obama’s campaign. Archer has become equally, if not more, popular because it was designed to be ‘pretty’. During the holiday season last year, pretty much every magazine I opened featured Archer at least once.
I doubt that the fine people at KOTK Productions were thinking, “hey, let’s put Archer into this video because it would be such an ironic design joke.” I have a sneaking suspicion they probably grabbed it off of ffffound. But I still think it’s interesting that when something becomes ubiquitous, it can be absorbed by a scene that it was not meant to attract. In this way perhaps Archer, which has become tired and cliche in its intended context, will be refreshed in its new surroundings. Perhaps it’s time for Iwrestledabearonce to rebrand themselves?
So that’s my first post. I hope you enjoyed it, there will be many more to come.