In the late Eighties, Margo Chase drew a beautiful set of letters to create a suitable logotype for Madonna's album "Like A Prayer".
The general feeling I get is that of some Old Style capitals (with prominent serifs) drawn in a rather narrow, compressed style. Ms. Heiden may well have created these letters from scratch, but I wonder if there are older designs that pre-date this style.
As the letterforms themselves have a slightly distressed, nervy look, I tried to find (in vain!) something akin to that. Maybe a Caslon Antique would do? Well, it goes without saying that it definitely did not.
My question is about Old Style typefaces that may resemble the letterforms in the logo.
I have attached a slightly doctored (the first and last letters are capitalized in the original design) example of the logo to make things easier.
Thanks for your time and patience!
"Sorry, but type ID requests are not allowed on Typedrawers (see our rules). Try fontid.co or typography.guru."
Thank you for having understood the real intention of my post.
Thanks for your message.
Besides, it’s unlikely that any existed, as there was not much selection of condensed serif typefaces available, and the great vogue for distress was just then emerging.
Perhaps the most remarkable of distressed old style types was the ostensibly venerable Poliphilus (1923), created using faithfully reproduced photographic images of less-than-optimal printed characters sampled from the Aldine Hypnerotomachia Poliphili to produce a machine-set metal type which could make a perfect facsimile of the output of printing technology long since vanished from the face of the Earth. William Morris had worked with photo blow-ups of Nicolas Jenson’s Renaissance type in the 1890s, but his tracings were just to get the hang of the thing, he would never have dreamed of making a verbatim transcription: too pedantic, too mechanical, no craft. Even Goudy and Cooper’s contemporary historicism, though pointedly a bit wonky, was relatively clean. In Poliphilus a relatively new medium in type design, photography, was used to mechanically appropriate the genius of a type founder working in a far older technology. A postmodern, curation-as-art methodology, with the reproduced artefact becoming a hollow simulacrum of its original self. Type revival as recontextualization. But it didn’t find much favour, certainly not compared with Monotype’s subsequent Aldine revival, Bembo.
A rough tracing of squished Times Roman would give a better match, and would have been a more practical method than “cleaning up” the more gnarly Caslon Antique, back in the day.
Give it a try!
The raised crossbar of A is a red herring, just a little “arch” detail.
All cap Times had been used previously for Madonna albums (e.g. True Blue), so there would be some “brand consistency” there.
Also, in 1988/89, DTP had just arrived, with the ability to produce artificial condensing of fonts, and Times was bundled with the early Macs, as one of the few digital styles available, so that may have intrigued Chase, and it would certainly have been easy to morph, prior to tracing over it.
Here is the Times.
I would say it’s easier to use it as a model than the Caslon, if you’re going to trace.
But you’re right about the nicks, so I stand corrected.
Margo Chase was obviously a master at creating antique goth style logotypes or type treatments, frequently incorporating her own typeface designs as well as employing and adapting existing typefaces in clever ways. For instance, the logo she created for the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spinoff series "Angel" is based upon Bernhard Modern, with elements removed.
So, I think it's entirely possible that a version of Caslon Antique (aka Fifteenth Century) was the starting point and Chase re-worked or re-drew it into a sharper and more refined form. It would be unfair to say "this is the font," as the final logo is substantially different—but Caslon Antique seems to have been referenced and is probably the closest in overall look and feel.