Forth + Back’s identity for Rhythm Season reflects the crossover between jazz culture and boxing
LA-based design studio Forth + Back have collaborated with Craft Boxing, Los Angeles’ eminent boxing company founded and run by George Forman III, to develop their maiden apparel drop, Rhythm Season. Visually reflecting the crossover between boxing and jazz culture, the subsequent series is punchy, rhythmic and rife with contrasts – from the juxtaposition in form and space to the tension between the range’s hand-rendered linework and stark typeface.
“Rhythm Season uses Displaay’s Matter Mono and was chosen for its utilitarian nature,” Co-founders Nikolos Killian and Tanner Woodbury tell us, discussing the typeface choice for the collection. “We developed a dynamic system that allows blocks of type to move in synchronicity across varying mediums and materials,” Killian and Woodbury add, opting for a monospaced typeface to best compliment the justified nature of the concept. “When stacked, the characters feel visually balanced together as they move across apparel items and in digital,” they note, allowing the more free-form illustration style to thrive in contrast.
Crafted in-house, Killian and Woodbury recall the specific mark-making style, explaining, “the illustrations were a reference to some specific jazz albums that incorporated a similar approach.” Dancing among the stoicism of the typographic compositions, they add, “the fluidity and rhythm of the line, we felt, paired nicely with the letterforms.” This compelling relationship is also bolstered by the liberal use of colour – taking a similarly contrary approach with vibrant hues contrasting with neutral tones. “The palette takes reference from jazz albums (specifically from the Blue Note catalogue),” they explain, contrasting this legacy with contemporary colours. “Craft Boxing is a company rooted in classical boxing techniques,” Killian and Woodbury conclude, “but with a foot in the future as well.”