A Typographic Exploration into the Words of Johnny Cash
How might I create a typographic and tactile experience surrounding the narratives of Johnny Cash? How might I tell unique stories and create memorable experiences?
The song Get Rhythm was written and recorded by Johnny Cash in 1956. It is an upbeat account of a young boy who shines shoes on the cold streets. When asked how he keeps from getting the blues, he pops his shoeshine rag and responds:
C'mon get rhythm when you get the blues
It only cost a dime just a nickel a shoe
It does a million dollars worth of good for you
Get rhythm when you get the blues!
My Process: In order to convey the place, time and most importantly the owner of this narrative, I screenprinted the spirited typography using shoeshine polish and ink on a long, thin shoeshine rag. The type for the rag was designed in inspiration of Nashville’s unique type lettering and poster work from the 50s. I used primary colors and separated the layers into multiple files to burn onto a screen.
To further convey the narrative of the young boy, I roughed up the rag and placed it inside an old shoeshine box, just like the ones boys would sit on while waiting for their next customer.

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