Sometimes, when browsing my collection, I am lucky to find something special — an alternative record sleeve that is clearly superior to the original design for that record. These alternatives are often local, like the Italian re-release of the American single “Pipeline”. Or the credits lack, and the design was maybe local — like the probably-Dutch unique design for a Philips release.
Here is another one; Dutch as well. “Funkytown” by Minneapolis act Lipps, Inc. was one of the most successful electronic disco singles of 1979–1980. Sold millions, hit number 1 on hitparades all over the world.
Most early editions of this disco song were packed in a somewhat kitschy sleeve, illustrated with a fashionable drawing of two pink lady faces (see Discogs), This typographic design, in contrast, has style! The image is simply a sound wave, all text set in the contemporary display font Camellia. It was a Letraset release which was usually “typeset” by transferring single letters from that brand’s dry sheets to the paper. Camellia was a simplified family — just two fonts, a narrow and a broader one, both only lower case, combinable within one word. A digital version from Linotype only contains the broad one, ignoring an important aspect of Letraset designer Tony Wenman’s concept.
The u in “Funkytown” was included on Letraset sheets as lowercase v. It was repurposed here, since in dry transfer lettering, character encoding doesn’t matter. (Unlike one might assume, the w isn’t an upside-down m, but indeed the form intended by Wenman.)