An independent archive of typography.

Joy Division – 1977–1980: Substance album art

Contributed by Love Lagerkvist on Apr 2nd, 2017. Artwork published in
June 1988
Joy Division – 1977–1980: Substance album art 1
Source: HiltonTenderloin. License: All Rights Reserved.

1977–1980: Substance is not only an excellent compilation of rare Joy Divison songs, but also the most famous example of Wim Crouwel’s New Alphabet in use. With the “over-the-top and never meant to be really used” typeface, to use the words of the author, the cover quickly became a cult classic that splits opinon to this date. Yet this debate always seems to get stuck on the aesthetics of the type, and not the fact that it actually says “subst1mce”.

The serif is Stempel Garamond, with Garamond 3 used for the oldstyle figures. []
Art direction: Peter Saville
Design: Brett Wickens, Peter Saville Associates

Joy Division – 1977–1980: Substance album art 2
Source: ceremony60. License: All Rights Reserved.
CD cover
Source: Factory Records. License: All Rights Reserved.

CD cover


  • New Alphabet
  • Stempel Garamond
  • Garamond No. 3




Artwork location

2 Comments on “Joy Division – 1977–1980: Substance album art”

  1. Ah, lovely. It’s worth reading Wickens’ comments on Typophile, apparently пεц цLphцbετ had to be custom-digitised.

  2. As a guess, incidentally, Wickens may have used Garamond 3 on the numerals because of Stempel Garamond’s odd-looking reverse-contrast 0, intended to clearly show that it’s not the letter O.

Post a comment