Metronomy – The English Riviera album art
The English Riviera is Metronomy’s third album, released in April 2011. It is “set around reimagining the place where the Metronomy main man [Joseph Mount] grew up, Totnes in Devon. Released on influential French label Because Music, the artwork paid homage to Surrey-born graphic designer John Gorham who had created the iconic palm tree motif to promote the South Devon coastline in 1982.” — Amy Sumner, BrumNotes
For the typography, the designers unearthed a largely forgotten Letraset face from 1974, Penny Farthing. This peculiar design is credited to Bob Newman, who is also responsible for many other iconic 1970s faces like Frankfurter, Pump, Data 70, Zipper, or Optex. Penny Farthing comes with wide and narrow alternates plus stacked or nested double glyphs for most letters and numerals. The components of the double glyphs could be used to create arbitrary ligatures, a feature that Metronomy has maxed out. The typeface also appears on the covers of a number of related releases, including singles, an EP, and a collection of remixes.
Art direction by Joseph Mount. Design and layout by Aaron Larney.
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6 Comments on “Metronomy – The English Riviera album art”
Here’s Letraset sheet for Penny Farthing (Letragraphica LG 1812), 84pt (22.5mm), showing the various alternate glyphs.
To my knowledge, Penny Farthing hasn’t been digitized yet, although I imagine an OpenType implementation to be relatively straightforward. It inspired a typeface named Newman, designed by Stuart Geddes and Tristan Main in ca. 2012, but that’s not really a revival. On a formal level, the stacked narrow letterforms remind me of Balkan Sans, which has an even cooler concept that goes beyond being playful. Also vaguely related in looks is Hangulatin, Anita Jürgeleit’s adaptation of the Korean syllable shaping principle to the Latin script. And I should mention interlocking fonts like Photo-Lettering’s Swiss Interlock or Shiva Nallaperumal’s recent Calcula for Typotheque.