need typeface for music venues app

neumann's picture

Any suggestions for a typeface or typeface pairing for an iOS app that will list events based on local music venues?

I'm thinking something sans condensed for headings that relates to venue signage plus something for event details that'll hold up at small copy size. Open to any suggestions though.

Core0's picture

Music is such a broad topic. Are you talking about Open Air rock concerts or small neighborhood Jazz clubs? Arias in operas or chamber concerts in old church attics? Punk, trash, industrial or alternative Rock? Electronica? I haven't even touched the surface of the iceberg here. All these different music styles involve all kinds of typographic interpretations.

Have a look at the new (current) David Bowie album, The Next Day. Would you characterize a dry sans serif as typical for his rock?

Design using typefaces is really what you make of it, rather than a specific font associated with a broad type of expression like music. In other words: every font can work, if you make it work.

neumann's picture

Totally agree on your take, and nevertheless... I'm still asking the question.

I am not looking for a typeface that says "Music!" as I agree that's not possible. I mentioned the app theme only for context. If anything.. I am thinking something that might reference the vernacular of america theater and concert hall marquees. The app with be featuring only american venues and at that on a city by city basis.

If I had to answer my own request in generic terms.. I would say I am looking for a condensed sans or possibly slab and a complementary text face suitable for information copy in small text sizes.

Hopefully that helps define my request a bit more. Are there any specific typeface suggestions that would satisfy the generic terms I outline above?

neumann's picture

Any suggestions anyone? Maybe i need to repost with a different heading. Something along the likes of....

Seeking good pairing of a condensed gothic sans for headings and second face for small type body copy. To be used in iOS app. Ideal would reference an American vernacular.

Nick Shinn's picture

You need a family of varied widths, to accomodate everyone from If to And You Shall Know Them…
Write code to choose the font based on the number of letters in the band name.
(Great idea for an OpenType font!)
Why not do the whole thing all caps, like the gig listings in an entertainment paper.

oldnick's picture

Shameless self-promotion: a little retro charm, and a tip of the Hatlo hat to the Newport Jazz Festival...

dberlow's picture

Shamelesserly, ideal references to several American vernaculars, depending on the time period requested, for iOS apps, coming in recommended size masters, for text and UI, sizes at which type cannot get too vernacular, and heads, where anything goes, are available for trial and distribution and may be found via, e.g. Other American and musical vernacular types are available for iOS from Typekit, Fontshop, Monotype & many others followed by .com, I'm pretty sure.

Core0's picture

I think if you want to use a kind of generic “old poster” font, you could look at the Knockout series. These kinds of fonts were often used with Open Air concerts in the past.

These will likely not fit with Electronica, but anything from classic rock to blues and jazz works quite well with this font. And there is a huge variety of cuts and widths available.

neumann's picture

thank you all for the suggestions thus far.

I really like H&FJ's Tungsten for heads (the condensed could be useful to prevent long names from wrapping) and was thinking it would pari reasonably well with Gotham.

Then I looked at their license terms and seemingly they do not offer licenses for embedding fonts in mobile apps as of now. I sent an email asking about this but have received no response.

Anyone know of a comparable (or near comparable) pairing to Tungsten and Gotham that WOULD be available to embed in an iOS app?

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