During last week's series of Summertime Starts Here pop-up experiences, we learned that Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!" was originally titled Operation Highjump!. Fans even had the chance to purchase limited edition vinyl featuring several variations of the instantly recognizable cover art featuring the ultimately scrapped title in a variety of different fonts.
As creative director Ibra Ake previously revealed via Instagram, the title swap was a last-minute decision. Now, Paris-based graphic designer Tyrsa has opened up about the process behind the Operation Highjump! lettering and the importance of the album among other entries in his design catalog.
Three years ago, Tyrsa explained, Ake sent him the cover art and asked him to get to work on perfecting the title presentation. "For the following months I've worked on a lot of different proposals, while Ibra was feeding me with plenty of cool references to help me find inspiration," he said. "Heavy metal band logos, psychedelic posters, jazz album covers, and many other references helped me create a bunch of type lettering."
The team then landed on their choice (the first image shown below), which was set for release until that aforementioned last minute name swap. "Even if I was a bit frustrated not to see the title I've worked hard, I honestly believe it was a good decision, the photo being so strong and iconic," Tyrsa said. "The album is now one of my Top 10 of the last decade and I feel very humbled to have had the opportunity to work on it. Being able to keep working with an artist I love and a visionary team who trust me and always make me step out of my comfort zone make me feel very honored."
Tyrsa also worked with Gambino's team on "This Is America," "Feels Like Summer," "Summertime Magic," merch, and more.