Tennessee Ernie Ford “Star Carol”

I have wanted to post this since the first month that i started doing these, but I thought that I should wait until it would be seasonally relevant…and the wait is over. Let’s take a look at the hand written script found on this album by Tennessee Ernie Ford

The hand written script on this cover is an example of using the right tool for the job, a broad nib pen held at 45º in expert hands. I keep mentioning “hand written” because in this day and age there is a proliferance of “hand written” typefaces. When you take a closer look at all the “E’s” in the name of the performer you can tell that this one is certainly done by hand.

Tennessee Ernie Ford Star Carol record cover script detail
Tennessee Ernie Ford “Star Carol” record cover script detail.

I love that there are no overly flourished parts to the lettering. The writer lets the pen create some nice detail. You can see this in the start and end of the “C” in carol. The beginning and end have little flares that give the letter character. The “L” has a little but i would argue that it serves a purpose; it fills in that section of would-be white space. This creates a smoother visual diagonal from the top of the bowl of the “R” downwards. Additionally, as it extends past the height of the other letters in carol, the diagonal is strengthened.

The way the writer has locked letters in together is beautiful too. Take a look at the “h” in “The”, tucked in there to save space. In the words “Ernie” and “Ford” notice the “RN” and “RD”. The ending of the tail of the “R” fits perfectly beside the serifs on the “N ” and “D”.

Tennessee Ernie Ford "Star Carol" reverse
Tennessee Ernie Ford “Star Carol” reverse
Tennessee Ernie Ford "Star Carol" reverse script detail
Tennessee Ernie Ford “Star Carol” reverse script detail

The reverse features a more traditional black letter, an easy out on a Christmas record. I wonder about the signature (it’s part of the design and not an actual signature). I guess it is to authenticate the writeup by Ernie. Kind of gimmicky but I like it. Lastly, that illustration, amazing.

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