In 2019, there were albums that made such an impact on me that I just had to design something for them. I’m an extremely happy person any time I can use my creative skills to celebrate things I enjoy. Last year, I did a Top 10 design series. This time, when I was putting together my list, I had to include 11 to properly capture my favorites of the year.
5 MICS is a design series I started celebrating my personal 5 favorite MCs in hip-hop, the rappers whose music and style I love.
I analyzed their photos and pulled what I considered the most recognizable elements of them. Then, I sketched out what would eventually become simple illustrations of each. I created a general face/head template and then applied the unique elements on top of that.
Like with each design series I do, I created a system of presentation that would be consistent throughout. I took the microphone I made, duplicated it 4 more times, and put the mics in formation to be the 5 Mics project logo. With each MCs illustration, I drew additional inspiration from a project or other specific bit of information about the artist.
“There’s levels to this but I’m a whole new floor.”
The colors in the background are inspired by the cover of her EP, Beauty And The Beast.
“But, I’m not defined by the sales of my first week
Cause in my mind the only way I fail; if my verse weak”
The background here refers to Logic’s skill of solving Rubik’s cubes at an incredible speed.
“Cole under pressure. What that make? Diamonds.”
His 2014 Forest Hills Drive album was the inspiration for the background.
“It’s hard being a Lupe fan, go to Harvard to be a Lupe stan.”
Background is “All Black Everything”.
“If it don’t touch my soul, then I can’t listen to it.”
The purple was inspired by the Cadillactica album. The lightning cut was inspired by Mt. Olympus. The crown refers to what K.R.I.T. means (King Remembered In Time).
One of the great things about being a graphic designer is having the ability to pay visual tribute to those that impact you. We should all use our skills and gifts to deposit as much positivity into the world as possible. The 5 MICS design series is just one example of me creatively saluting some of those who provide greatness to the soundtrack of my life and the life of others.