In 2021, I was invited to collaborate with La Dispute as one of 14 artists to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their sophomore album, Wildlife. Each artist was tasked with interpreting a single track and creating a corresponding piece of merchandise. The title of the album is derived from lyrics within the song I was responsible for interpreting, “a poem”. It has been said that lyrics are a form of poetry—a sentiment that might be particularly accurate for La Dispute with the frequent use of spoken word. Like a Christopher Nolan film, the track, “a Poem” adds an additional level by including an actual poem within the lyrics. The inspiration behind the graphic stems from the idea of focusing on the poem that the song derives its title. My interpretation of the lyrics tells a story of an uneasy narrator. The narrator observes an uncontrollable amount of anxieties in their own life. At any given moment the accumulation of these anxieties may hit their breaking point causing the narrator’s life to spiral into chaos. The graphics are an attempt to embody this increasing feeling of uncertainty within the narrator’s life
The typographic composition is rooted in concepts developed by French Poet, Stéphen Mallarmé. For Mallarmé the act of reading was itself an integral part of the overall poetic experience. This idea of the form indicating the action is heightened by using graphic spaces between words to create new poetic rhythms and new verbal associations. The typographic freedom is held in check through the strict horizontalism of the text and the use of a single typeface. Beyond the typography, the use of the rectangle further enforces the concept of documented word. Its aspect ratio is intentionally set to that of the paper it would be written on, 8.5”×11”. While this specific song graphic relies heavily on the use of typography, it is only part of a larger whole—a song within an album. The use of the flower motif is a way of connecting this specific track to the album as a whole. A way of bringing nature, or wildlife into the design.