Published Apr 05, 2019Alongside his guitar and vocal duties as frontman of Deerhunter, Bradford Cox has also handled the group's graphic design and typography for each of their releases. But for those who don't know their Microcastle from Monomania, it may come as a surprise that Cox's work has also been featured on album artwork from Avril Lavigne and Papa Roach.
Brooklyn-based songwriter Warren Hildebrand (a.k.a. Foxes in Fiction) pointed out the connection today on Twitter, writing that a teenaged Cox designed a typeface dubbed "Polaroid 22" that was used on both Avril Lavigne's 2004 album Under My Skin and Papa Roach's 2002 full-length lovehatetragedy.
As it turns out, Cox previously explained the genesis of his "grungy, shitty" Polaroid 22 typeface back in 2008 in conversation with Spin.
my fav piece of information ever is that teenage bradford cox designed the typeface that ended up on the album artwork for avril lavigne and papa roach in the early 00s pic.twitter.com/jj8gaChZKl— foxes in fiction (@foxesinfiction) April 5, 2019
"I designed it in my bedroom when I was 16," he said of the font at the time. "My dad wanted me to try and get paid, but I never did. I made fonts that I gave to Matador Records because I was such a big Pavement fan; they used them on their website, and I was so excited!"
Cox has spoken about his self-taught typography skill on several occasions, telling BlackBook in 2010 about how fanzines and punk show flyers furthered his interest in design while in middle school.
"Now I would groan if you showed me some of the fonts I made," he said. "But I'll always prefer a pair of scissors, an X-Acto knife, some Scotch tape, a glue stick and a Xerox machine to Photoshop."
A reply to Hildebrand's tweet also pointed to a partial list of fonts designed by Cox between 1996 and 1999. Polaroid 22 appears in the list, alongside fonts named "Heroin Sheik," "Athens," "Aluminum Tunes," "Metalic Avacado" and "Gold Dust Manuscript."
Deerhunter released Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? earlier this year. Read our latest interview with Cox here.