Encouraged to answer a question with design for my Final Major Project, I decided to try and answer the question one might ask themselves when listening to popular music: "Haven't I Heard This One Before?"
Ultimately, an exploration into familiarity, unoriginality and repetition in popular music, the project focusses on 3 key areas: repetition in lyrical content, the most successful songwriter in pop today and plagiarism within pop music. Each focus area has it’s own dedicated album in 12 inch LP format:
The Millennial Whoop (repetitive lyrical phenomenon)
The Hit Machine (focussing on the most successful writer in Pop today—Max Martin) Plagiaristic Pop (focussing on well documented litigation cases and rumoured rip offs)
All of which become a set entitled The Familiar 3 LP Set.
Released by a fictional record company, Cmd+C Records, the name and logo itself is a hint at unoriginality. The set comes with pull out booklets, “inspirational” lyric posters, an infographic Hit Machine poster detailing all of Martin's top 100 billboard hits thus far and their release dates, and litigious lyric prints. With particular attention paid to the extensive research collated on the subject matter, the entire project has the same tone of voice throughout and is intended to be slightly tongue-in-cheek and open to interpretation as to whether it is criticising or celebrating the music documented. In order to make all three of the LP's cohesive, a single typeface is used across the project: Proxima Nova. Similar in how pop music is a hybrid of different styles that have gone before, Proxima Nova is a typeface born from inspiration from classics that have gone before.
Although a make believe project, a simple website layout was created which if released, would launch the albums in a digital space with a download code—in a nod to the high vinyl sales today but consumer's need for a digital download too.
The overall project attempts to answer the question with a definitive yes, you have heard this music before.