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Font ID needed - "Sounds of Silence"

Discussion in 'Fonts and Typography' started by Jack Leckliter, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Jack Leckliter

    Jack Leckliter New Member

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    Nope, you old-timers (of which I'z gettin' to be one meself), this ain't some ole Simon and Garfunkel font or anything, sorry. :) It's the lettering and logo for one o' them hard-drivin' axe-to-grind-into-your-ear post-punk alternative southern rock bands. Note that the large “SOS” main logo looks to have been created/modified from the same alphabet shown in the lower line of smaller lettering that says "Sounds of Silence," which is what I need to identify. Nobody's come up with anything on What The Font yet, so figgered it was time to put it to the gang here. Thanks!

    Jack
     

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  2. Sign One

    Sign One Member

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    Not a font?
     
  3. myronb

    myronb Active Member

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    I don't think it is a font, but it looks pretty simple to recreate.
     
  4. Jack Leckliter

    Jack Leckliter New Member

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    I wondered myself if it was all hand-constructed instead of being a font, but I came to the conclusion it probably is a font (other than the modified "SOS" with the talons added on) due to the number of extra letters they've used besides the logo itself. In addition to the "Sounds of Silence" lettering, they've also got a tagline in use that says, "Can You Hear It?" That makes 16 characters all total in use:

    SOUNDFILECAYHRT?

    I assume that's likely too many for someone to have taken the trouble to draw all by hand just for a small regional rock band (not a national act or anything). Plus as a former typographer for many years, the spacing of the letters and the interlocking and in some cases overlapping of the extensions of some letters looks too "typographic" to my eye to have been done by someone other than a font designer. (Although I could certainly be wrong about that.)

    I've attached the additional "Can You Hear It?" lettering here as well for reference. (This image is a bit blurry due to snapping a screen shot of a moving marquee of lettering on their website.)

    Jack
     

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  5. Sign One

    Sign One Member

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    If that was a font, how could they assume that you are going to use a Y and a U to make an O in YOU? Maybe just modified, I don't know- doesnt look at all familiar-
     
  6. myronb

    myronb Active Member

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    Yeah, the way they are connected leads me toward the possibility that it WAS custom-made.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I've never seen that as a font, but I've seen that type of bastardization before. It looks like something that someone is trying to imitate for a futuristic appeal. First clue is the serifs on the ‘I’… the only letter with that much hat and feet. Next clue is all of the varying degrees of serifs on the other letters and some not having any at all. The ‘E’ also has different strokes among themselves and last, look at the picture very closely. This is not considered bastardizing, but someone has tampered with this actual image. Look at the first ‘E’. It’s different. It has an added stroke, after the image was made. Also the cadence is poor. No, no one will identify this font. :peace!:
     
  8. Jack Leckliter

    Jack Leckliter New Member

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    My apologies in advance for this lengthy post folks.

    Gino, not seeing what you're pointing out about the first E that's been tampered with. But I agree there are definitely two different E's--see my comments below about those.

    Regarding the lengthy serifs on the capital "I," that's actually getting to be something you see with more sans serifs these days that used to be unusual but is less so now. Also, my view would be that with this font, having an "I" with no serifs would look odd spacing-wise with a very skinny character like that squeezed between all these really super-wide characters, especially with all the horizontal connector strokes going on everywhere.

    I could well be wrong that this is a font, but here's some of the details that makes me lean toward thinking it is:

    - The connecting O also connects not just the Y and U in the word "YOU" but also the 1st and 3rd S's in "SOS." It would also work like that sandwiched between lots of other character combinations. The two examples here don't appear that they'd be unique, because the connectors that accomplish this are either on the upper-left and lower-right of the O itself, or at least the lower-right, with the connectors on the upper right of other characters completing the job.

    - There are two different versions of the SOUNDS OF SILENCE lettering, distinguished from each other by the two different versions of O in the word "OF." (I didn't upload the 2nd version of the phrase to begin with, but I've attached it here to show that.) One is the "connecting" version of O that hooks up with the previous and following letters. (Although here it doesn't have the connecting overhang on the upper left, which would be evidence against my theory.) The other is a full O without the 2 gaps in its shape on the left and right.

    I would tend to guess that a graphic designer would make just one version of the phrase "SOUNDS OF SILENCE" and use the same one everywhere, instead of making two versions. However, with actual unicase fonts that are designed as just upper case, it's not uncommon to have alternate characters available in the lowercase positions of the font that can be used in different situations or just for variety. Sometimes more than two versions. Occasionally you will even see "connector" pieces you can use on an ad-hoc basis. (The font "Logotypia" by Ralf Hermann which I have in my library is set up this way and made for building logos where you can have connecting characters.)

    - There are smaller "half" serifs on the C, D, and "?" and to my eye they seem to be done consistently from an optical standpoint. Also in the word HEAR it looks like the same type of half-serif may be present on the feet of the H, A, and R (though they connect up in this combination). I'd tend to think most graphic designers without type design experience wouldn't think to put little half-serifs like that on a font that is primarily a sans serif. They'd just leave them off entirely. A type designer, though, might well add them in the interest of more distinctive characters, either to lessen the monotony of a more formulaic sans typeface, or also for better legibility, since the latter is easily the biggest shortcoming with a font like this.

    - Dual versions of the following two characters also show up: One version of the E has an extending connector on the upper right with a non-connecting lower leg, the other one vice versa. One version of the C has the small downward-pointing half-serif on the upper right, the other doesn't. The one without it is used in the phrase "SOUNDS OF SILENCE" underneath the main "SOS" logo, but not in the 2nd version of that phrase I'm uploading with this email that was used in right-to-left scrolling banner text on their website. This leads me to believe the C may have been designed as part of a type font with a half-serif, but it was shaved off on purpose in the actual logo treatment. Or perhaps there could be two versions of the C in the upper and lowercase keyboard positions if it was designed as a font.

    - There are overhangs or overshoots on the upper right "arm" of several characters here: on E, F, I, and S.

    - The middle crossbar on the E and F is much shorter than average, something that helps to improve legibility particularly in situations where the characters are all square. A type designer would be more likely to tweak that feature, I'd think, than a design.

    All that said, I may be dead-as-a-doornail wrong. In either case my hat's off to whoever created the lettering, font or no, for the great job. It looks deceptively simple at first glance, but the more you look at it, quite a bit of thought seems to have gone into the whole "connector-overhangs" idea and how those end up interacting with other letters, and the alternatives needed to deal successfully with any resulting issues.

    If it's not a font, I'd be one of the first buyers if it were made into one. Would work great for easy-to-make logos, and also just as a high-tech font. The connecting-letters theme also ends up making unusual and interesting end-of word letters such as the S, E when the connector sticks out to the right with nothing to connect to.

    Jack
     

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  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    If this is indeed a font, I would bet it is a spin off of a normal font that has been played with in order to make certain letter combinations change the manner in which all of the letters connect at different spots and certain combinations of other letters with some of the same, differently… [what in the hell did I just say?]. Example… the ‘O’s go in and come out the same every time, where the ‘N’ has two different approaches. This would lead me to think it isn’t a legit font. Reason being, how many combinations would the creator be making for computerland. Quite a few, me thinkst. Being a typographer, you have an advantage over me. I’m looking at this from a sign maker’s point of view. Years ago, this would have all been furnished by hand. That’s how many of your new types have emerged. So taking the skills [or knowledge] of doing this by hand and substituting, the hand portion, with a computer, Photoshop and a printer… this is totally and easily possible. A few rectangles here and there, rotate them and wel-lah… a customized [bastardized] font.

    You’re interest in this intrigues me. What are you trying to accomplish here ?? Is this a test or are you trying to recreate this for a sign ?? Or… are you marketing a new type style that you developed ?? LOL :Big Laugh

    I hope I did this part correctly. This will show you what I was talking about the ‘E’ :Oops:

    ss-e.jpg
     
  10. Jack Leckliter

    Jack Leckliter New Member

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    Jan 30, 2006
    I agree, the way the N combines with the U in the word "SOUND" is evidence against my theory for this being a font. On the other hand... Look at this OpenType font by Ray Larabie with 800 contextual-alternate ligatures: http://www.typodermic.com/61.html. And this one with 250: http://www.typodermic.com/62.html. Or this one with 440: http://www.typodermic.com/50.html.

    Larabie of course is kind of an over-the-edge type of guy as far as fonts go, and I don't know how common this is yet. But even traditionalist Hermann Zapf's Zapfino calligraphic script has all sorts of swashy OpenType autoligs available now. (Available if you are using an OpenType-aware app like Illustrator or InDesign to support them, that is.) Then again, Zapf is said to be a real workhorse type even in his 80s. And the guys at Letterheadfonts.com are beginning to include swashy autoligs with their sign-oriented fonts now that they're getting around to rereleasing their library as OpenType.

    Anyway, nope, not a test here. On this thing I would just like to be able to reproduce the logo and main motto quickly for a potential license plates print job. I know it might only take 30 minutes to an hour even reconstructing by hand. But a half hour or hour is still a chunk of time I'd rather avoid if this is available as a font. And we don't have the job in hand yet, so I don't really want to reconstruct the thing ahead of time just to try to land the work. =:-O

    Jack
     
  11. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    Real font or not, I like don't mind the result at all- very creative & appropriate!
     
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