Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash recorded America IV after the passing of his wife while his own health was in rapid decline. The album is an intimate reflection of the pushing, pulling and acceptance of life and death.


This was a project initiated from an Advanced Typography class taught by Jeff Barlow at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts. I was to pick one album to be my primary subject throughout the quarter for a handful of typographical exercises. The final project was to make an album tribute in the form of a commemorative book containing album lyrics, liner notes, and interviews.

Roles | Book + layout design | Typography

Creative Driver

A lifelong struggle as a fearful believer & glorified outlaw.


After studying traditional and modern book layouts, I developed my own grid and type system to be applied throughout the book. I also wanted to set some extra limitations to act as guidelines. I chose to limit the color pallet and typefaces–two of each–to compliment the notion of Cash’s duality I’ve identified as my creative driver. Additionally, I chose the symbol of an arch to be used throughout the book after discovering this reoccurring shape. It came in the form of tombstones, church windows, and even at the entranceway to Folsom Prison, so I found it to be a perfect symbol to represent religion and mortality.


The final book came to form in 64 pages. The type-focused layouts contain all original song lyrics, liner notes and quotes. I hand selected imagery to support my creative driver.

Belle Vinez


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