Fourth of July

Sufjan Stevens’s hauntingly beautiful “Fourth of July” is a documentation of a conversation with his dying mother in the ICU—and a poignant memento mori for the listener.

The universal reminder that “we’re all gonna die” looms over the verses in a ghostly silver ink, while the tiny handset 10pt type emphasizes both the intimacy and the mundanity of a close, loving relationship. Printed together, these typographic elements visually express the song’s chilling and profound emotional weight.

  • class — Miami University ART450 Letterpress Printing (Spring 2016)
  • instructor — Erin Beckloff