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Bob Dylan poster

Bob Dylan's genius inspires an expansive experiment in hand-lettering


In a series of 70 hand-drawn signs, Leandro Senna pays tribute to an iconic Dylan video.

Few moments in music history are as iconic as when the young Bob Dylan stood in an alleyway in London flipping through cue-cards with the lyrics to his song “Subterranean Homesick Blues”.

After reading Dylan’s memoir, Chronicles: Volume One, Brazilian designer Leandro Senna became profoundly interested in the author and his influence. “I don’t understand all that he wants to say—maybe no one knows—and since I’m a 27-year-old, Portuguese-speaking Brazilian, surely I’ve missed some of the inside jokes, puns, and context,” Senna says. “But his lyrics are timeless and we can use them as inspiration whenever we want.”

On his first stab at typography, hand-lettering and iMovie, Senna created his own interpretation of Dylan’s song. The experiment sprawled into 70 individual signs featuring the lyrics to “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in different typefaces, all of them strikingly beautiful.

“I drew with pencil, then with pen, and I can’t say I planned what I was doing; that’s why you can find stupid mistakes and mixed-up words,” the artist adds, “but I had the rule of never redoing anything or digitally retouching anything, because with 66 cards I’d lose too much time worrying.”

There’s something greatly refreshing about the passion invested in this project that began as a simple experiment. If Senna’s work does not send us off on creative explorations of our own, it should at least inspire us to dust off our old Dylan albums for a listen.

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