Jessica Hische Lettering Rendered In Cut Paper

It always seems magical when a piece of graphic design transcends the flat plane and enters the third dimension. The resulting object lends an additional legitimacy to the original piece, rejuvenating it and altering our perception of it. Take for example Jessica Hische’s gorgeous hand-lettered packaging for Beck’s Song Reader. Released on December 11, 2012, Beck’s latest collection of songs was not issued on an album but as a book including 20 songs worth of sheet music and more than 100 pages of art. Hische’s cover design was transformed into an astonishing, breathtakingly beautiful tactile artefact by Ham, who runs the Japanese Beck fan site Hambeck. Discover it in the video below.

As it is no actual album but a collection of sheet music, Song Reader’s raison d’être relies entirely on one’s ability to read music and play an instrument. Those who perform the music “give”, and those who don’t have this ability “receive”. An avid Beck fan, Ham unfortunately cannot play any musical instrument. She often “received” other people’s works, yet envied those who enjoy playing music and filming videos. This made her decide she wanted to do something.

When the jacket for Song Reader was published it inspired Ham, making her decide to recreate it. She was encouraged by almostaghost who spurred her on to “enjoy herself with Song Reader using her own creativity, even if she couldn’t play any instruments”. All materials except the frame are paper, which Ham cut, twisted and bent, and stuck on board with glue. Because Ham started on the piece before she got the actual jacket the trimming is different, and the musical notes are as yellow as the image she worked from (the real colour is gold). But she doesn’t mind that!

As Ham wanted to join she created the making off-video. The song in the video is Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings, performed by Max Miller and featuring Rachael Roth. Miller, a hardcore Beck fan, donated the unreleased song for the video. Ham specifically asked him because she wanted to collaborate with a person who loves and respects Beck as much as she does. Miller will also publish his own project on Song Reader.

Massive thanks to Akira Yoshino, fellow Typophile and type identifier extraordinaire, for his invaluable help translating Ham’s Japanese blog post.

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