A Question of Fonts

Hi Everyone,

I’m curious if any of you copyists, orchestrators or arrangers are aware of the fonts used by Gordon Goodwin and others for some of their famous big band arrangements. I have a link here submitted for your examination, which will serve as an example and also allow you to zoom WAY in and check out the lettering for yourselves:

To me, the title font looks like a “Sharper Star Wars,” for lack of a better term. I’ve tried plugging these fonts into font finders online but haven’t found a suitable winner. Any and all advice welcome, especially if there’s any way to currently recreate these in Dorico (4) on a Mac (I’m aware Mac fonts and Windows fonts, Finale vs Dorico etc. are all a bit different).

I just really like the look of these charts, they seem to mean business but also, fun.

Thanks in advance and have a cool weekend

These days, fonts are fonts are fonts. Mac and Windows both use the same OTF or TTF files; and Finale and Dorico both use whatever fonts the OS gives them.

I can’t find anything that matches that curved capital E, but apart from that, it’s very similar to ITC Serif Gothic (which was used on artwork for both the Star Trek movie and Star Wars!). Other contenders might be Penumbra Sans, or Kabel.

Designers have to strike a balance between “similar to something else people like/are familiar with”, and “different enough to be identifiably unique”.

I’d ‘take inspiration’ from another’s design, but never copy it too closely. :wink:

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That’s a great find, thank you! Yeah I agree, I wouldn’t want to produce a facsimile and you raise a good point about that balance. For me it’s all about how does it strike the musicians, and as a musician I like the look of this sort of layout. Thanks again.

There’s a great website called “Fonts in Use”, which has samples of artwork sorted by typeface.



check ITC Bauhaus

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The E certainly looks like Bauhaus (though the middle bar in Bauhaus extends further than in the sample), but the rest of the letters are very different.

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The title font on the music is Kabel Bold.

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Count Bubba is a great chart, well worth getting!

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I believe the epsilon-shaped E was a variant in the phototype version of Serif Gothic. I don’t know that it’s been digitized anywhere, but if you have an OpenType font, you can check for a variant.

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The standard OTF version from Adobe/Monotype doesn’t contain the alternates.

Clearly, someone must have digitized the alternates for Marina Music, but whoever did it isn’t marketing them well!

From what I’ve learnt, it’s a common problem with typefaces that were digitized from pre-existing designs.

(It is rather galling that Adobe made everyone buy new OpenType fonts of the Type 1s they already had, and most of those “Std” fonts don’t have any additional glyphs or feature sets. But I digress.)

You (@Consolo) could try emailing Marina Music and asking them. Or if you have a PDF of their scores, you can get a list of the font names from the PDF document.

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Awesome, did you do this by sight/memory??

Very cool idea. I do have some PDFs of parts only, sans full score, but they appear to be scans. So I’ve been snapping screenshots and trying to use FontFinders and whatnot to try and figure out what they are.

But yeah Marina has that whole “Zoom in” score feature on their website so they must possess something digital. I actually bought hard copy from them to study, anyway, so I think they won’t mind me asking!

Couldn’t agree more—just bought a hard copy. :nerd_face:

Just to clarify-

Marina Music appears to be a music retailer. Count Bubba was published by Hal Leonard.

It’s unlikely that Hal Leonard would be willing to divulge any specifics as to the design of their jazz publications. Their jazz music font is a custom made job, based upon Finale’s Jazz Font. The clefs are taken from the Golden Age font. I don’t know any other information.

Both Finale Jazz and Golden Age are available in SMuFL format, which is compatible with Dorico. In fact, there shoud be download links posted on this forum - the fonts are free. Using Dorico’s Symbol Editor, you could swap the Jazz clefs for the Golden Age clefs and do the same with other music symbols as well.

You probably are totally happy with the answers you got, but I just spent the better part of an hour looking for that same font (for a different Hal Leonard work), and as far as I can tell, the title and composers/arrangers bit is all done in a font called Kabel, KabelBD for the title, and ITC Kabel STD for the credit. I would include a link but as I just made this account to reply to you I’m not allowed to yet.
You can tell because of the distinctive crossed W and the rounded lowercase b.

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