Role Switcher is a music campaign that I originally created for the D&AD Typographic Notes brief: The Empowerment of Music. The brief asked of me to create a record cover using primarily typography to promote a certain song, artists or genre that represented an important cause.
I started with my love for disco music and with my own knowledge I knew that Disco and queer culture went hand in hand so I decided to create a project that celebrated the LBGTQ+ community. To make the project unique I needed to find a niche that would make it special. In doing my research into Disco artists I came across a quote from Grace Jones “I feel masculine when I feel masculine, I feel feminine when I feel feminine, I am a role switcher”.
This quote and the phrase ‘Role Switcher’ inspired me to create a compilation record of Disco’s most androgynous artists as a symbol of acceptance for people today that may struggle with accepting themselves whether they are non-binary, or identity with their sex but may relate to the opposite gender, or even simply embrace both masculine and feminine qualities in themselves, making them a role switcher.
In my design process I stayed away from traditional and sometimes brash disco aesthetic and typography and tried to create something that felt more fresh and modern but still maintained the essence of disco. I experimented with flipping the typography and playing with optical illusions that would result in the viewer turning the designs around to look at them in a different way, just like someones gender could make someone re-think or view differently what they think they know.
I chose to celebrate Grace Jones, who is the poster girl for androgyny, Sylvester, who was known for his falsetto and overtly feminine image and musical style, and Donna Summer who was one of the first black women to sing about sex and female sexuality when that was seen as a masculine thing to do. I created a photography book to accompany the record cover as a tribute to these pioneering artists. The record contains an A side (feminine) and B side (masculine) with examples of songs from each artists that reflects the role switcher within them.