Sans Serif Fonts

Hey there !

not directly a Dorico question I’m sorry, but more an engraving one, and as I know at least a couple of people here develop their own fonts I thought maybe I could still get help.
In an iOS app I’m developing I’m looking for a sans serif font that would have some music symbols embedded in it (I’m also using Dan’s MusGlyphs for some parts, but the serif doesn’t fit the “feel” of the app eveywhere, only at places).
To be more accurate, the font I’m using right now and that I’m mostly very happy with is Josefin Sans :

But the problem is that embedding sharps and flat symbols is ugly with this font, it doesn’t feel natural and ruins the design in the app.

So I’d like to know if any of you would/could point me to a font that has a similar feel but with better handling of basic musical symbols (mostly sharps/flats) ?

Thanks in advance

To be honest, I’m not sure this will be a successful search. The reason is that music engraving came to maturity in the era of [often fancy] serif fonts, so in a sense, one was made for the other, or at least cut from similar cloth. The fundamental shapes of music symbols tends, on the whole, to be rather curvy and calligraphic, and are not sharp or angular to the degree of josephin sans. I am, of course, happy to be proven wrong, and no doubt someone here will know of some very modern looking music font. (Don’t expect it to necessarily look pretty though. For all of tantacrul’s talk about fine design, I’m always appalled whenever he shows a score in his own personal, modern music font. It’s just awful, to my eye.)

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Yeah. A quick check of the Adobe Pro sans fonts that I have, and none of them have Unicode music characters.

TBH, they’re pretty few and far between even in the Pro serif fonts, which have thousands of glyphs.

Why not just find an open source font you like the look of, and modify it to add the sharp and flat symbols to your liking?

simply because I didn’t know/think it would be as simple as that :grin:
Any tips or advice you’d have for me as to how to proceed ?

It’s actually pretty easy to do. I didn’t really know anything about fonts before I started creating MusGlyphs.

There are a number of font editors out there. On Windows I really like FontCreator. You just open the font that you’ve installed, and you can easily copy and paste glyphs from other fonts, and resize or whatever (if they’re published under the Open Font License, which gives permission for them to be altered).

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If you are looking for accidental glyphs that might pair better with Josefin Sans, Elbsound Studio has a pretty cool font comparison feature that will let you compare dozens of music fonts. You can even A-B back and forth between two fonts. Maybe one of those will have accidental glyphs you like better with it.

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It’s worth mentioning that most Open Font Licence fonts state that modified versions must be given a new name.

So if you’re using Josepfin Sans with a couple of revised music glyphs, you’d have to change its name. How about “Nottonite”? :grin:

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Thanks for the replies everyone, I’ll go for the custom made stuff I think (yay, some more work :metal:
as if doing the design, code, algorithms, marketing, translations/localization, etc… for the app wasn’t enough on top of composing/gigging/rehearsing/recording/mixing :sweat_smile:)

Thanks Ben for the name suggestion, I’ll think about that if I can’t come up with a stupid pun as I usually like to do :grin:

The first thing that comes to mind is Björk’s songbook but the jury’s still out on how legible this is…

I find the defendant ‘guilty’.


Don’t remind me of this project…