Kids, don’t try this at home: pairing two very similar typefaces can be tricky, all the more so when they belong to a peculiar genre. I wouldn’t bother to try and make two multiline faces work together on the same page, but the one and only Nolan Pelletier can pull it off.
For the cover of Divine Intervention, he used Neo Prisma for the band name, and Prisma for the title. The former is an early-1970s face designed by Nicola Russo and issued by Mecanorma. The latter is Rudolf Koch’s display companion to his Kabel, first cast by Klingspor in 1930. Drawn with multiple parallel lines, Prisma was a pretty novel concept at the time. While the original Prisma has strokes with four lines in the smaller sizes (20, 24, 28 pt) and fives lines in larger ones (36, 48, 60 pt), this version has three. Is this a homemade “Prisma Text”? Or did Nolan use Prismaset Three from Lineto’s massive revival and expansion, and beef up its strokes? Anyway, together with his signature style illustration featuring concentric circles and stars, everything falls into place.
Their album was inspired by cults and UFO religions, and I thought that Neo-Prisma brought a bit of that spacey optimism to the piece. The Neo-Prisma is scanned from an old Modern Publicity Annual, and Florian was right on the nose about the Divine Intervention—it’s a beefed up Prismaset 3.
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Neo Prisma also appears on related merch, including this fine tea towel.
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