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Lord Shorty – Sweet Music album art

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jun 22nd, 2019. Artwork published in .
Charlie’s Records, 1976.
Source: Herb Lubalin Study Center. License: All Rights Reserved.

Garfield Blackman (1941–2000), better known as Lord Shorty and later, after he found religion, as Ras Shorty I, was a musician from Trinidad and Tobago, and dubbed the “Father of Soca”. His album (Sweet) Sweet Music from 1976 inspired the name of an exhibit of record covers presented at the Herb Lubalin Study Center on the occasion of this year’s Typographics design festival.

The cover shown above uses ITC Serif Gothic (Herb Lubalin & Tony Di Spigna, 1972), tightly spaced, stacked and interlocked, with a red i dot marking a second focal point next to the microphone. The typeface is used with some of its alternates: the uncial E, the descending s, and the spurless r (in “Lord”). This version of the record was distributed by Charlie’s Records ‎in Brooklyn, NY, with “design and graphics by Leo Hoyte for Bon Bagai Inc.”

The album was also issued by the artist’s own Shorty Music in Trinidad, with a different cover, depicted below. It uses another expressive and typical 1970s typeface, Stripes (Tony Wenman, 1973), albeit in less accomplished arrangement, and unfortunately with feeble color contrast, at least in this reproduction. The credits on the back cover read “Artwork/Layout/Type selection/Design: Sam (Langa) Rodney Jr.”

Shorty Music, 1976.
Source: Dusty African Grooves. License: All Rights Reserved.

1 Comment on “Lord Shorty – Sweet Music album art”

  1. In his profile of Tony Di Spigna on Tenth Letter of the Alphabet, Alex Jay has included scans from a 1972 brochure by Photo-Lettering, Inc. showing ITC Serif Gothic & Bold with its alternates.

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