Fragile Self are electronic duo Anıl Aykan and Jonathan Barnbrook. Already known for their Grammy Award winning design for David Bowie’s Blackstar and the Next Day album covers, they have now formed their own musical project combining visuals, music, electronics and live performance.
Their self title debut album was released in vinyl, cd and book formats. Vinyl features a cover with cut-out square, the inner sleeve is printed with multiple Thematic Apperception Test images. A different image is shown through the square dependent on the orientation of the inner sleeve. The front and back of the cd package both function as a front cover. It has a unique folding holds cd, booklet and three postcards. The cover stands up on its own and cover folds flat as a poster. Several years in the making each chapter in the 480 page of the book deals in poetic detail with each song. It makes extensive use of the original photography and influence different associated text and artworks. It is the most comprehensive expression of Fragile Self.
The typeface is an important foundation for the voice of the band. A special redrawing of the 1930s font Florida which Ingmar Bergman used it for his film titles. Fragile Self Display differs from the original font with a softening of the letters that occurred when Bergman’s films were projected in a cinema. As part of the project, Aykan and Barnbrook collaborated with an outsider artist Peter White in collaboration with the Bethlem Gallery and featured his unseen artwork. Also over 200 specially commissioned photographs made in collaboration with photographer Teri Varhol as part of the project. The images explore direct and indirect influences on the music.