The creative team at Spotify has created an interactive website that shows how Bon Iver fans are listening to the singer-songwriter’s new album i,i. The Visualiser uses streaming data to create a map of listeners across the globe through graphics made using the letter ‘i’.
Designed by NYC-based Spotify senior art director Tal Midyan with copywriter and associate creative director Kathryn Kvas, the site tracks how many hours the album has been streamed for, which country is listening the most avidly at any one moment and translates lyric fragments and the album artwork into a swarm of letters. As you move your mouse across the site, which was built by devs Active Theory, the typography moves and swells, triggering new lyrics and graphics.
Midyan opted for a “stripped back, ‘no design’ format”, which calls to mind early net art and concrete poetry. The “i” from typeface GT America Mono by Grilli Type was chosen throughout the site.
Midyan tells It’s Nice That: “In the same way the album was born from a spirit of collective creativity, Spotify’s collaboration with Bon Iver allowed us to invite millions of fans around the world to interact with the music, sonically and visually, at the same time.”
A lot of the aesthetic was inspired by the artwork Bon Iver’s team had established, Midyan tells us. “Specifically, they had used Text Edit screen grabs to convey certain messages to fans. The single cover for Hey, Ma had a screengrab from a Text Edit doc over an image that read: ‘Yes you need to be there to plant a garden’. We really liked that.”
The illustrations were made by the Eric Timothy Carlson, who is responsible for all of Bon Iver’s artwork including the last album cover for 22, A million. The videos that play throughout the site were made by Aaron Anderson, also a frequent collaborator of Bon Iver.
The Visualiser can be used online via desktop and mobile and graphics from the campaign have also graced digital billboards in NYC’s Times Square.
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Laura is a London-based arts journalist that has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016. She currently covers the news desk on a Friday for news editor Jenny. Send her all your big stories, projects and exhibitions. You can reach Laura directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or via our news channel at email@example.com.