OFF album art
3 Comments on “OFF album art”
Fantastic! These letterforms are from Sea weed. This capital alphabet was drawn by Armin Haab and reproduced in Lettera 2, first published by Niggli in 1961.
There, it is described as “a decorative script of modern morbidity permitting many variations”. Some options are shown on the previous page. Calder is a skeleton variant, Tropic is a shaded style without base. “In their proximity there are further characters as the examples of Polyp and Maotse show.” This page (shown below) is credited to Armin Haab and Walter Haettenschweiler.
At some point, this lettering model was made into a film typeface with solid letterforms. It’s shown in Dan X. Solo’s Art Deco Display Alphabets (Dover Publications, 1982) as Polly. Dick Pape made a digital version named DXS Polly in 2010. Unfortunately, it is not good.
The Vertigo logo’s execution is much stronger, of course. According to Louder, it was created by in-house art team Linda Glover and Mike Stanford, from an idea by Olav Wyper. Vertigoswirl.com gives all credit to Linda Nicol, née Glover. This site also mentions much older precursors: the Rotoreliefs by Marcel Duchamps.
Good find, Robert! Sea Weed was really way out there for 1961, and it’s not surprising that psychedelic artists picked it up years later at the height of that style. Haab was truly ahead of his time!