Monday, 6 July 2009


Ever wanted to try and recreate the famous Sabbath fonts? Here's the names for as many as could be identified!

Now, here's the main problem...back in the good old '70s, digital fonts didn't exist! So the vast majority of logos and 'graphic' fonts were either hand-drawn by very talented artists or else they plundered the Letraset rub down sheets!

BLACK SABBATH - first album
The one that everyone wants to get hold for it...! "Manuscript Capitals" by Letraset. (Now, what's VERY interesting about this is that I happen to have a very old Letraset catalogue
and the font says © 1972....and we all know the album came out in 1970...) And it doesn't exist in digital form (not commercially
anyway), unless some clever person has done it themselves!


Definitely hand drawn originally, but now a very close version exists called "Dark Black". Free download -

Is a distorted version of Futura Extra Bold - and then emboldened even further.

I've done a VERY quick example! It's by no means finished, but shows it can be done, needs more distortion etc...

I'm struggling with this one! Most internet sources claim 'Baltar' looks a lot like it, but I disagree. It's nowhere near close enough. More digging to be done. It is most likely a heavily emboldened version of an existing font - but I've scoured the Letraset book
and it ain't in there!!!

Baltar font - the only character that is correct is the lower case 'h'...!

Still looking for the nearest example for the album title (hand drawn), there is a 'Spinal Tap' font but only the lower case 'a' is close.

The band name is lower case "Old English Text", a fairly common Letraset font in the day and easy to download now. Here's an example in 'Cloister Black', a free download version that's almost identical to how it appears on the bottom of the front cover...

Following the distinctive initial capital 'S' from the previous
album, this has combined with Futura Extra Bold Condensed for the rest of the name.
This also appears on We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'n Roll.

Obviously needs the hand-drawn 'S' to be complete...

Closest I can find is a slightly condensed and letter-spaced version of Futura Medium - only character I'm not happy with on this is the 'A'....but the rest is spot on

Subsequent albums to follow in part 2....