Neue Helvetica Black (or 95, as this weight was named following Adrian Frutiger’s numeric system) is the font used for Tri Repetae. The third studio album by Autechre was released on 6 November 1995 by Warp.
Chris Cunningham’s video for Autechre’s Anvil Vapre was built around impossible machines, visual constructs which didn’t really exist. We wanted to develop this idea graphically for the Anvil Vapre and Tri Repetae sleeves, so Chris supplied us with his reference shots as physical snaps, which I used and abused in Photoshop, welding together more, different machines and machine detail rusting and disintegrating pixels to represent a technology of natural decay.
Each image took days (and long pre-laptop nights trapped in a cold studio) of clock-watching, crashing, rebooting (and getting shit-hot at Crystal Quest) to build and deconstruct as we pushed available technology to its limit (old Macs RAM-slotted to the max running pre- Photoshop layers). You tell the kids that these days (and they won’t believe you etc).
Ultimately, we weren’t sure that the images universally represented the album and we decided, with Rob and Sean, on a totally plain metallic (technology) green (nature) cover (somewhere between Beatles White and Prince’s Black). This allowed us to use the images as a reveal on the inner sleeves. Typographically, the album is one of the first iterations of using tightly-kerned Helvetica 95.
Working digitally in the 20th-century felt a lot more physical.