Doin’ the Neutron Dance

In 1983, Shoot That Tiger Creative Services created a record sleeve for the UK single of the Pointer Sisters Neutron Dance. The design ticked all the boxes for the design trends that would continue to dominate all the way up to early 1990’s: splatter paint granite, atom age symbology, Bodoni, wide tracking, pastel colors, italics for italic’s sake, chalk lines, fashion imagery, swooshy motion lines and an art deco typeface.

While the art nouveau typeface revival ruled late 1960’s to mid 70’s design, by the early 1980’s, art nouveau was significantly out of style and wouldn’t start to show its face again until the very, very late 80’s paisley underground and jangle music scene started to crest the mainstream. The typeface used on the cover is a 1983 take on an American atom age style. When you think of art deco, you probably think of 1920’s or 1930’s. But art deco evolved into what would be later termed industrial type, a precursor to techno. It was geometry mixed with machine shapes, lightning bolts, streamlining and science fiction themes to bring it into the atom age. Take that idea, look at it through the lens of 1983 and the result it brilliant. I took those ideas and expanded them into a full typeface called Propaniac which you can learn more about here.