In the week that UK radio station BBC 6 Music celebrates 50 years of the cassette (opens in new tab) tape, and with the recent news that Sony has finally killed off the format, it's with some delight that we discovered Benoit Jammes (opens in new tab)' cool designs using the cassette as a centrepiece.
Jammes is a graphic designer who lives close to Paris, France, and is plainly quite nostalgic about the (let's face it) clunky format. After all, who can forget the chewed-up tape, the deteriorating sound quality, and dabbing the heads with an alcohol-soaked Q-tip? But on the other hand there were mixtapes, the Walkman, beat boxes, and using a pencil to rewind them...
"This work on cassette tapes is entirely hand made, with a bit of work and a lot of nostalgia," Jammes tells us. "It so happened that I found a bunch of old cassettes at home; seeing them brought me back, in thought, to an earlier time, the '80s, and to me as a kid.
"In any case, I could not play them any more so resurrecting them sounded like a good idea. It was sound, it became visual! I am pretty sure they are more happy than in a shoebox!"
Jammes' playful designs range from rockets and oranges to famous film and TV imagery, and each one is bound to raise a smile. "I think people from my generation relate to this work," the 32-year-old explains. "Many enjoy the funny side of it, the references. They are happy to see that these old cassette tapes managed to start a new life!"
Jammes has many ongoing projects: wood artworks, drawing... "I like to do very different creative things!" he says. To see more of his work, cassette-based or otherwise, visit his Flickr page.