Reel Art Press_The Book of Rhyme & Reason

Editorial Design / Sequencing / Copywriting

Between 1994 and 1997, documentarian Peter Spirer embarked on a three-year odyssey to offer a realistic view of Hip-Hop and the people and culture it encompassed. Interviewing and filming over 80 artists, while working on the film, Spirer took accompanying photographs that form The Book of Rhyme & Reason.

The starting points of the art direction are the four tennants of Hip-Hop; MCing, DJing, Graffiti and Breakin’. Using close crops of the artists’ mouths for the cover reflect the power of the MC and their role in the culture. The choice of fonts was inspired by graffiti bubble letters and marker pens. The colour scheme uses the colours of the pan-African flag; red, black and green which can be seen on iconic album covers by the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Roy Ayers, Funkadelic and many more. 

The intention was to make the book a companion piece to the documentary. Elements of the film come via artist quotes and screenshots and are presented in dynamic graphic ways.