Wednesday, 12 December 2012


For one of my poster designs I would like to incorporate the type face, in some way, of the Beatles 'Rubber Soul' I really like the design of the typeface used on the album cover of Rubber Soul, and think it would work well on the sixties themed poster design.  I think the best song to use in terms of lyrics from the album would be, In My Life.

Charles Front was the young illustrator who designed the lettering on The Beatles Rubber Soul album. Back in 1965, Art Director Charles Front was asked by Bob Freeman, the Beatles' photographer, to create artwork for a new album sleeve; Rubber Soul. Front's design, squeezing the words Rubber Soul into a shape that resembled the drip of rubber from a milked- rubber-tree (an early example of playful bubble-shaped lettering) quickly became a template for the poster art of the period, and would slowly, very slowly, influence the design of more creative forms of typography over the coming decades.

A cursory glance at the Beatles album designs around, and even after Front's design, reveal that whilst album covers became increasingly innovative, vivid, and colourful, the typography was more often than not less adventurous. And the fact that the influence of that iconic design can still be detected today, with very few people knowing a great deal about the designer himself, speaks volumes about the quality of the work.
Iconic Beatles artwork under the hammer
Original artwork used by the Beatles on their Rubber Soul album goes up for auction on Wednesday having lain forgotten for 42 years in its artist's attic. Charles Front was a little-known art director in London when he was approached by Bob Freeman, the Beatles' photographer, to create artwork for a new sleeve.
'To me it was just another piece I'd done and I had put it away and forgotten about it,' says Front, now retired. 'When I took it down to Bonhams I went on the underground with it in a carrier bag. When I came back after discovering its value I was absolutely clutching it in a case.' The lettering will be auctioned at Bonhams in London with a guide price of £10,000.
Front designed the iconic bubble-shaped lettering, heralding a style that became a staple of poster art for the flower power generation. But he said that the design for the typography was not, as many critics have since claimed, induced by psychedelic drugs.
'Whether the Beatles were into LSD or not I don't know but I certainly wasn't. It was all about the name of the album,' he said. 'If you tap into a rubber tree then you get a sort of globule, so I started thinking of creating a shape that represented that, starting narrow and filling out. I was paid 26 guineas and five shillings.'

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