GMD student, Veronica Jones, reports back from a recent talk at LCC.

“Second year GMD students and tutors welcomed author Jeffrey Boakye for a talk about his book Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials and the Meaning of Grime.

Hold Tight is a key text for our collaborative project, Full Flow – the Language of Grime, in which students worked to produce a limited edition cover design for Boakye’s book, as well as a poster and editorial in response to grime as a genre.

For students working on Full Flow, Boakye’s talk provided an invaluable insight into both the writing and the production journey of Hold Tight. It was really interesting to find out about Boakye’s writing process and how as a teacher and fan of grime he came to write Hold Tight.  He described the book as a fanzine crafted about grime and how in many ways, the genre of grime was an ‘Ode to Jamaica’,

Boakye’s passion and knowledge of grime was clear, and the need to understand the genre’s beginnings through ragga, dancehall and garage was a driving force in the release of this book. Grime faces a pivotal turning point as it ‘grows up’ and is accepted into the mainstream. It is still rough around the edges and in the process of changing. This was reflected in the iterative stages of development and the freeform structure Boakye used in writing the book.

We found out that the design process of the cover also went through similar stages. Boakye and his collaborative partner Kit Caless worked with illustrator Dan Evans to make the hand-rendered typography for the book cover. This represents grime through a balance of imperfect type and the use of a bold yellow (via a pink detour) which stands out from other books about music on the shelves, whilst referencing key albums in Grime’s history.

We learned that the book had been through a fascinating journey, from its first envisioning as an illustrated journey through grime, to its final form in both design and writing. The role of collaboration between writer, publishing house and designer was useful and enabled students to put their work into perspective as a result of Boakye’s talk.”