As a kid, I freaked out over a science book whose pages featured a flexi-disc record that showed my tiny self how a record player worked. I would spin the little disc by hand, trying to get the timing just right (so the song didn’t sound too much like the Chipmunks or Sloth from The Goonies). A few years later I got my first iPod and I was like, “whatever, science!”
New York-based designer Kelli Anderson has me eating my words. One of her new projects is called A Paper Record Player, and was created to be an interactive wedding invitation for her friends Karen and Mike, whose original song is carved into the disc (and can be downloaded here).
A true labor of love, Kelli and her partner worked closely with the couple to fine-tune the technical elements to ensure each invitation worked. “The resulting booklet is comprised of a cover, two inner pages, a letterpressed band (with instructions and a tear-off RSVP postcard), and a flexdisc on a screwpost,” she says, “The recipient bends the second page of the booklet back to create a tented “arm.” With the needle placed, they then carefully spin the flexidisc at 45 RPM (ish) to hear the song. The sewing needle travels the length of the song and produces the sound. Its vibrations are amplified by the thin, snappy paper to which it is adhered.”
Even if you’re not a fan of the low-fi crackling of a needle on vinyl or the science behind the project, it’s impossible to deny the sweetness of the type and illustrations that adorn the invite.