The new Jay-Z video makes typophiles and information visualization designers jump higher that their kids at a Souljah Boy concert. Director Evan Roth uses typographic illustration, spelling out “Brooklyn” in cascading typeface, the component parts meshing and building full form images of Jay-Z himself as well as Brooklyn rap-icon Christopher Wallace aka Notorious BIG. Evan had this to say (via TDS):
Last week I was contacted to make a video for a new Kanye West produced Jay-Z song for RED & the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa. It launched today (World AIDS Day) at red.msn.com. And while I’m happy to be able to help the cause I’m also more than a little bit excited about getting a chance to make something for the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye. I’ve been turning down client requests to use Typographic Illustration for 5 years in hopes that one day the phone would ring and it would be Hova … I’m pretty sure that this is the first rap video to end with a download source code link.
But Evan provides the community not only with a very sensible Rap video but releases the AS3 source code as well.
And we already see us provided with another neat use of typography to combine illustration and information visualization. The new Grammy commercial with Thom Yorke of critically acclaimed rock band The Radioheads features a similar technique and illustrates Thom’s face with song titles that inspired his musical work. I like the coincidence that Radiohead provided us with one of the most talked about video of 2008 (House of cards) and now is presented again in visually interesting project.