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Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever album art

Contributed by Emma Kumer on Apr 30th, 2021. Artwork published in
April 2021
.
    Album cover.
    Source: https://www.instagram.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Album cover.

    Billie Eilish announced the album artwork for Happier Than Ever on April 28, 2021. The cover features a soft, glowing portrait of Eilish cast in warm light that seems paradoxical to her pose, wrapped in a white sweater as if cold. (She also sports a single tear, ironic due to the album’s title.) The typography is the vintage typeface Coronet Bold (or one of its many digital versions which include Ribbon 131) in staggered text boxes. The typeface projects a 1970s/80s aura, especially because Coronet and Ribbon 131 are very commonly-used typefaces given that they are available by default on old Windows machines.

    CD release.
    Source: https://shopuk.billieeilish.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    CD release.

    Special golden vinyl edition.
    Source: https://shopuk.billieeilish.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Special golden vinyl edition.

    Hoodie.
    Source: https://shopuk.billieeilish.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Hoodie.

    Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever album art 5
    Source: https://umusic.digital License: All Rights Reserved.

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    • Coronet

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    2 Comments on “Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever album art”

    1. Hi Emma! To me, it looks like the specific version is Monotype’s Coronet Bold. The glyph details and the spacing suggest as much. Ribbon 131 is the name of Bitstream’s digitization of Coronet, which originally was designed by Robert H. Middleton for Ludlow in 1937. Ribbon 131 is distinguished by a larger eye in e, a more open r, a higher i dot, and some other small details. Chances are it was digitized from another size of the original metal type.

      Apparently the cover designer didn’t like Coronet’s slightly ambiguous T with the roof that extends to the left of the stem only. This glyph was modified to roof over the h, so that it can’t be mistaken for a capital I.

      From top to bottom:
      1. The album title with modified Th pair.
      2. Coronet MT Bold.
      3. Ribbon 131 Bold.

      It’s interesting to hear that you sense a 1970s/80s aura. To me, Coronet feels about three decades older than that. But yes, it was put to use in later years, too. One prominent example in album art is the cover for Velvet Underground & Nico from 1967, featuring Andy Warhol’s signature stamp in Coronet Bold. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a direct reference for the design of the Billie Eilish cover, especially considering the dyed blonde hair that she now has in common with Nico.

    2. Thanks Florian! I did not know the differences between the different typefaces—great analysis. And upon further thinking… it’s definitely not a 70s/80s font. Not sure what made me think that! Maybe something about the font placement or album tone. Wish I could ask Billie’s creative team what they think!

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