Dali for flappers

An unused Scarring Party pin design by Little Tiny Fish.

I was recently given the opportunity to design a couple of small pins for a band called The Scarring Party. They take early jazz and old-timey music and mix it together with a punk attitude and a bit of irreverence. They describe themselves as “End-Timey” music, which is about as short and accurate a description that one needs. End-Timey. Perfect.

I had done some flier work for them before, but it had been a little while since I’d helped them out with design, so when I began brainstorming some ideas, I wondered if and how much their design sensibilities had evolved.

Their initial aesthetic started out with a collage of classic looking cross-hatched animals in suits, or distinguished gentlemen on high-wheel bicycles, or tea-cups filled with razor blades. It was like Salvador Dali for the flapper generation. When I talked with the lead singer, Dan Bullock, he confirmed that the band was going to uphold this bizarre sensibility. Excellent, I thought. I think I can work with this.

So rewind a few months ago. I was working on a different logo for the companion to OnMilwaukee.com, OnMadison.com (I’m hoping the logo that currently sits there is temporary). When I was brainstorming new ideas for the site I began playing around with the strokes on a font by the name of DIN Black, and accidentally created a font that was like an Art Deco font, but with a Modern spin. I knew it wouldn’t work for the company, but I immediately tapped out “The Scarring Party” and thought it looked delightful. I decided to save it for the future.

Fast-forward. I took the “font” and tweaked it a little bit further. I noticed it wasn’t reading well at the one inch size; I punched holes in the “P” and “A” characters, for instance, and adjusted the “Y” so that it tucked in under the “G”. Definitely Dali, I thought, for the flapper generation.

The design was ultimately rejected, but I still think it’s grand. It’s one of those things that I’ll have to tuck away for a while until the next perfect project comes along to which it can be applied. The good news is, you can still find a couple of other fine looking pins both with custom adjusted typography and one with a couple of boxing fancy-pants (to be displayed at a later date).

Also, be sure to turn up to their CD Release at Turner Hall on the 15th of March. They always put on a great live show. I’ve also previewed the album and it sounds splendid to be sure.