Kanye West dropped new merch to coincide with his Sunday Service performance at Coachella this weekend. And while the pieces mostly caught attention for their evangelical-style slogans such as “Trust God” and “Jesus Walks,” we found ourselves focusing on two aspects in particular: the font used throughout and their not insignificant price point.
While we’re not exactly sure what the font is called—or whether it is technically a typeface or rather drawn by hand—we do know that West, Bravado, and Team YEEZY teamed up with Cactus Plant Flea Market to design it, which explains why it looks so similar to that on Kid Cudi’s Coachella merch.
See Cudi’s below:
Now take a closer look at West’s:
With its rushing trails, it almost recalls the Jokerman font, a Comic Sans-level typeface usually reserved for childcare centers or perhaps your local church newsletter (maybe that was the inspiration all along). But West’s merch font isn’t as elementary school-looking as Jokerman; there are no swirls, circles, or other cartoon-like elements that would make it unusable to a serious brand, Balenciaga aside.
You could say West’s new font of choice leans toward the motocross-style looks seen on previous G.O.O.D. Music drops (see: Teyana Taylor), thanks to those speed lines erupting from the left side of each letter. “A super-fast electric motorcycle from a manga-like next millennium” was, after all, the inspiration behind the Mads Rydahl-created Planet Kosmos font West employed across his YEEZY Season 4 “Calabasas” invite merch.
West has always paid attention to fonts — and the rest of streetwear (and the high street) has taken note. Remember how ubiquitous gothic/old English typefaces became after West emblazoned one on his Cali Thornhill DeWitt-designed The Life of Pablo merch? Elsewhere, the neon copy on Wyoming drops and the disjointed text on his Cudi collab, Kids See Ghosts showed that the artist took his typeface seriously. While his Coachella merch has solidified the fact that unique fonts are part of West’s design aesthetic.
And why should we be surprised? West himself declared his love of fonts back in 2010 with the now-iconic tweet: “sometimes I get emotional over fonts.”
What’s more, he’s long cited the late Apple founder Steve Jobs — the first person to give us a real, wide choice of fonts on the computer — as one of his biggest inspirations.
When West’s Coachella merch dropped, however, it wasn’t the font that had fans flocking to Twitter — many were complaining about its high price tag, assuming that like West’s previous Life of Pablo and Wyoming drops, it was printed on Gildan. However, according to merch company Bravado, his church merch is actually printed on YEEZY apparel, which helps to explain the price.
What’s more, the merch is actually cheaper than getting plain YEEZY apparel. West’s tie-dyed Coachella sweatshirt will set you back $225 (while the white colorway goes for $165), but the original unadorned version retailed for around $340, so perhaps the Sunday Service merch isn’t such a bad deal after all.