Contrasts: Music Minus One album art
9 Comments on “Contrasts: Music Minus One album art”
The small script used at the bottom is most likely lettering.
It’s photo-lettering! This script is shown in PLINC’s Alphabet Thesaurus, vol. 2 from 1965, as Soroka Flair. It’s the only design credited to Albert “Al” Soroka and spans three weights; this being the lightest one. (Note that the name is Soroka Flair; “Soroka Design” is just a sample text to show a few more glyphs.)
“Contrasts” is much taller than Albro as shown by Photo-Lettering (or than the digital version). The letterforms aren’t stretched, as one can tell from the circular terminals, but were probably redrawn with elongated proportions for this application. Nice!
Unlike the track names, “Music Minus On PIANO” isn’t set in News Gothic Condensed. It has the straight-sided rounds found in the Extra Condensed, but is less narrow. I don’t recognize it right now.
I had the PLINC book open but could spot the Soroka design. Must have glossed over it. I think I saw the straight t and missed the rounded version. Good eye!
The Music Minus one at the bottom does looks like the Bold weight of News Gothic Extra Condensed. I didn’t find it in the database and reverted to News Gothic.
I know this is a digitization (below) but looks very close. The bold weight has straight sides too.
Just looked at an ATF catalog from the 1960s and realized that there was no Bold weight of News Gothic Extra Condensed. This sample looks a tad heavier than what’s in the catalog, and a bit wider. The Gothic Condensed No.529 is closer in weight but too dark. It does have flat sides but it is too narrow for this sample.
I had another look and concluded it’s Standard Condensed, AKA Akzidenz-Grotesk eng. It has the horizontal terminals in s, the straight-sided O, and also the deep notches in M. There is reason to assume that this face came from Photo-Lettering’s library, too. And indeed they carried an adaptation of this foundry typeface as Standard Cond, and additionally offered an exclusive Standard Intermediate Cond, which appears to be a tad heavier.
Ah good shout! Didn’t think to look at Standard! Especially since that specimen is in our collection. I think you’re right, this all must have come from PLINC.
Just updated the blurb accordingly.
I just came across this José Melis album art, and was reminded of the Music Minus One cover artwork.
There is no connection between the two, is there? Or maybe Chamberlain saw Suliman’s design from 7 years earlier. It’s curious that they both show a piano keyboard, and both use Brodovitch Albro.
On closer inspection, is that actually Brodovitch Albo on the Contrasts cover? I can see they are closely related, but the Contrasts type has a higher weight contrast, has more classical features, and looks more polished than any of the Brodovitch Albo samples I have seen. The S in particular is wildly different.
is that actually Brodovitch Albo on the Contrasts cover?
For the S: the original version of Albro came with various alternates, including two forms for S. One has a short horizontal middle part (as on the José Melis cover), the other form is closer to the one used for “Contrasts” – just less condensed.