the unfortunate maid

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Fragile Self were asked to create a poster to raise funds for it. The foundation is not only one of the best typographic archive in the world, it is also one of the best references for popular culture expressed in the printed form. Fragile Self’s output intersects in the emotional space between music and visuals, so we were very interested to come across the collection of ‘broadsides’ from the 19th Century. These were cheap one-sided sheets often with a salacious story, gossip or a popular song sung in the music halls of the time.

We chose a broadside of the song The Unfortunate Maid, we fell in love with the melancholic lyrics. We didn’t want to know what the song sounded like, instead our contribution to the project was a contemporary interpretation of it and of the broadside sheet. The new version of the song is created using digital and analogue synthesisers, capturing the mournful psychology of the words. The poster uses our own font and a new image of Anil by our photographic collaborator Teri Varhol to further explore this idea of sorrow and suppressed emotion.