XYZ Type Specimens

Series of re-imaged album covers pairing fonts from XYZ Type‘s library with musical instruments that share similar features.

The rubab is an instrument widely popular in Afghanistan, Baloch, Sindh, and Kashmiri regions. It is carved out of a single piece of wood and all of its parts are contained within the width of its body.⁠ ⁠ Ustad Mohammad Omar was an Afghan Rubab virtuoso. He also played the Sarod and the Dutar and was Director of the National Orchestra of Radio Afghanistan.⁠ ⁠ Fonts in use: Ballast + Aglet Sans⁠
The shells and top in a tabla are held together by thick rawhide straps, that gives it a chiselled outer shape. The tension between these straps helps with tuning and the quality of the reverb the tabla produces.⁠ ⁠ Ustad Zakir Hussain is an Indian tabla virtuoso, composer, and percussionist. He popularised tabla internationally and has collaborated with many artists including Ustad Mohammad Omar in 1974.⁠ ⁠ Fonts in use: Cedar + Cortado⁠ ⁠
The Njarka, an instrument native to Mali, is a geometrically simple instrument with a bright sound—its roundness is contrasted by straight lines. Elevator is an upcoming geometric sans from XYZ with dramatic curves.⁠ ⁠ Ali Farka Touré was a renowned Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist. He is considered a pioneer of African desert blues.⁠ ⁠ Fonts in use: Elevator + Study⁠ ⁠
A saxophone’s length neatly accommodates bends in the tube in the way that Ballast accommodates its ball terminals. Ballast’s playful quality packed with a punch lends itself well to both the sax and Fela’s music.⁠ ⁠ Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, political activist, and Pan-Africanist. He pioneered Afrobeat—a genre that combines elements from a number of West African musical styles.⁠ ⁠ Fonts in use: Ballast + Export⁠
The Morchang (or Morsing) is a mouth instrument popular in Rajasthan and south Indian Carnatic music in India and in Sindh, Pakistan. It has a reed (usually made of metal or bamboo) attached to a chiselled metal frame. The frame is held against the player’s teeth or lips, using the jaw as a resonator for the reed to vibrate sound into. ⁠ ⁠ The Barmer Boys are a Rajasthani folk musical trio from India. It is run by Mangey Khan (on vocals, harmonium), Rais Khan (morchang, bhapang, khartaal, beat-boxing) & Tarif Khan (dholak). ⁠ ⁠ Font in use: Cedar⁠