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For the next piece in our Art & Design series, we’ve decided to take a slightly different approach. Instead of focusing on a particular designer, artist or style, today we’ll be looking at an iconic typeface that you might recognize from some of your favorite albums.
According to the excellent Fonts In Use site, “Davida” was designed by Louis Minott and first released in 1965 after winning a visual graphics competition. The font was “possibly inspired by Victorian-era designs such as Hogarth” and is recognizable for its highly decorative set of capitals suggesting nineteenth century forms.
The Davida font was most popular in the late 60’s and early 70’s, appearing across genres on big releases like Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man/Cherry Cherry (1970), T. Rex’s By the Light of the Magical Moon (1970) and James Brown’s Ain’t it Funky (1970).
The font’s popularity was not limited to the United States, we’ve also seen it used on international releases such as Argentinian soft-rock maestro Litto Nebbia’s Canciones Para Cada Uno Vol.1 (1978) and on reggae covers including I Benjahman’s cult classic Fraction of Jah Action (1983).
It’s hard to say if there’s any sort of theme surrounding Davida’s usage. In our opinion, the font gives off a slightly mystical feeling, but it has definitely also been used for music that’s far from mystical. Perhaps the best takeaway from all this is the importance of noticing visual cues when digging for records. Any slight indication that a record might be worth listening to will be helpful in the long-run. Maybe next time you see a Davida album out in the wild, don’t skip it; you might’ve found the next Beverly Glenn-Copeland…
Below, we’ve included a selection of some of our favorite albums featuring the iconic Davida font. Shoot us a message if you’ve found a Davida album in your collection or in the wild.