A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Have your scores reviewed by other users. Comment on old and new published scores and on publishers.
Post Reply
Schonbergian
Posts: 121
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by Schonbergian » 27 Nov 2017, 19:11

We will be performing Brahms's Begraebnisgesang in the coming months with organ accompaniment, and I was surprised to find out that only one score with keyboard reduction has been published - a modern edition by Breitkopf. I could scarcely prepare myself for the horror I was about to see when I clicked on "Look Inside".

https://issuu.com/breitkopf/docs/eb_831 ... 5/42199946

Outside of the Chopin National Edition, this is probably the worst abuse of font mixing I have ever seen. Suffice to say that this score will be reserved for the hapless organist, with the rest of us using a properly published score.

User avatar
tisimst
Posts: 291
Joined: 08 Oct 2015, 17:57
Location: UT, USA
Contact:

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by tisimst » 03 Dec 2017, 04:34

It’s a great sans serif (Frutiger Next, for the interested), just a terrible mix, like you said. If it were only used on the prefacing material, it might be forgivable, but not a great choice in the music context alongside traditional Times for metronome marks and lyrics.
Music Typeface Designer & Engraver - LilyPond | Sibelius | Finale | MuseScore | Dorico | SMuFL | Inkscape | FontForge
http://www.musictypefoundry.com

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1229
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by John Ruggero » 07 Dec 2017, 22:52

The music engraving is also unappetizing.
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

User avatar
OCTO
Posts: 1003
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 06:52
Location: Sweden

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by OCTO » 08 Dec 2017, 14:26

Friends, I get completely different font displayed on two different machines. But I don't see any sans in the music.
What do you see?
Freelance Composer. Self-Publisher.
Finale 25 • Sibelius 8 • MuseScore 2 • Logic Pro X • Ableton Live 9 • Digital Performer 9 /// OS X El Capitan, (side system: Debian 9, Windows 7)

engelbach
Posts: 1
Joined: 16 Dec 2017, 17:48

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by engelbach » 16 Dec 2017, 18:06

OCTO wrote:
08 Dec 2017, 14:26
Friends, I get completely different font displayed on two different machines. But I don't see any sans in the music.
What do you see?
Ditto. I see sans serif only at the top of the title page, the page numbers, and the footers. None in the score itself.

Cheers,
Jer
Finale 25.5
Garritan Personal Orchestra 5
iMac El Capitan
www.engelbachmusic.com

laurencepayne
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 Mar 2018, 17:28

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by laurencepayne » 30 Mar 2018, 17:34

The title and copyright text is irritating, but is there a problem with the actual music?

I had a little bet with myself that their website would feature grey-on-grey text. Yup.

https://www.breitkopf.com/

Schonbergian
Posts: 121
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by Schonbergian » 31 Mar 2018, 21:02

laurencepayne wrote:
30 Mar 2018, 17:34
The title and copyright text is irritating, but is there a problem with the actual music?
- The piano reduction is the same staff size as the vocal lines when it should be significantly larger.
- Slurs have all of the typical ugly features of the unedited SCORE design.
- The bass voices are on two staves for no apparent reason. Both the Breitkopf Complete Works and the Carus vocal score place it on one staff, and there is no musical material that demands two.
- Many unnecessary extender lines that only serve to clutter the page (e.g. measure 56)
- Lyric text needs less contrast and more darkening. It doesn't stand out vs. the rest of the engraving, particularly the heavy look of Vienna.
- The whole notes are not centered in the last measure and look stupid against the centered fermatas.

And so on.

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1229
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by John Ruggero » 01 Apr 2018, 02:08

Along with all that, I have never seen instrument and vocal labels aligned on the left side so the longer ones force the shorter ones very far from the left barlines. Common sense seems to be in short supply these days.
Breitkopf Instr. Label Alignment.jpg
Breitkopf Instr. Label Alignment.jpg (63.21 KiB) Viewed 452 times
Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

Schonbergian
Posts: 121
Joined: 03 Feb 2017, 02:25
Location: Toronto

Re: A case study in why not to use sans-serifs

Post by Schonbergian » 01 Apr 2018, 20:48

How far Breitkopf has fallen from their position less than 100 years ago...
breitkopf.PNG
breitkopf.PNG (38.2 KiB) Viewed 401 times

Post Reply