When REM announced they were splitting up, the news didn’t just mean that there would be no new music from the band. It also meant that there would be no new fonts, and that’s important to some people (like me!) because REM have always been very experimental when it comes to fonts. In fact, as a graphic designer who deals with fonts on a daily basis, I can say that it was REM who got me interested in this line of business in the first place.
Take a look at the cover of every REM album and you’ll see how the fonts kept changing. REM never just took off-the-shelf fonts and slapped them on their covers. For the past decade and a half, REM’s designs and fonts have mostly been the work of Michael Stipe and Chris Bilheimer. From the relatively simple white fonts of ‘Murmur’ and ‘Automatic for the People’ to the heavy stylisation of ‘Up’ and ‘Accelerate’, not all the fonts have been my cup of tea. But they have all, without exception, been interesting.