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Stereolab – Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night and The First of the Microbe Hunters

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Nov 15th, 2017. Artwork published in
circa 1999
.
    Stereolab – Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night and The First of the Microbe Hunters 1
    Source: http://garagesaleterritory.blogspot.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Many of the album campaigns for Stereolab were designed by Julian House at Intro. For the artwork for their 1999 LP Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night, House used an all-caps typeface in a retro-futuristic computer/MICR aesthetic. Such a typeface was available as phototype in various versions and under various names incl. Gemini Computer, Gemini (Filmotype), or Sonic. It first appeared around 1965. The original designer is unknown.

    Digital interpretations include the freebies Auto Mission (Toto, 2011, derived from Solotype’s Automation Shaded) and BD Geminis (Büro Destruct, 2003, “inspired by an old lettraset (sic) font called Gemini and an old mattel electronics logo”). Neither is early enough nor a perfect match for the Stereolab album art. Chances are that House made, or had made, his own custom digitization based on historical sources. Letterforms like the monolinear ‘E’, ‘F’, ‘S’, ‘X’ are different from a showing of Gemini in the Phil’s Photo catalog. So are the closed ‘A’ and (symmetrical) ‘V’, the humpy ‘P’, or the broad-jawed ‘G’. Other differences can be found in ‘H’, ‘K’, ‘M’, ‘O’, and most numerals. However, all of these glyphs match those found on Franco Grignani’s cover for Pubblicità in Italia, 1964–1965, and, in the case of the straight-legged ‘M’, the cover of The New Improved American (1965).

    The typeface reappeared in the artwork for the EPs The Free Design (1999) and The First of the Microbe Hunters (2000) which was also designed by House.

    Stereolab – Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night and The First of the Microbe Hunters 2
    Source: http://garagesaleterritory.blogspot.de License: All Rights Reserved.
    Stereolab – Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night and The First of the Microbe Hunters 3
    Source: http://garagesaleterritory.blogspot.de License: All Rights Reserved.
    Whatever the typeface is, that’s plenty of it!
    Source: http://garagesaleterritory.blogspot.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Whatever the typeface is, that’s plenty of it!

    The Free Design (4-track EP, 1999)
    Source: https://www.discogs.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The Free Design (4-track EP, 1999)

    The First of the Microbe Hunters (7-track EP, 2000)
    Source: http://www.ticro.com License: All Rights Reserved.

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    1 Comment on “Stereolab – Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night and The First of the Microbe Hunters

    1. Nov 15th, 2017  11:13 am

      On Instagram, Mason Wells (@mldm_56) of Bibliothèque jokes:

      Franco Grignani ripping off @mrjoojoo’s typography from his sleeve for Stereolab’s, “First of the Microbe Hunters”…

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