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Black Sabbath – “Tomorrow’s Dream” / “Laguna Sunrise” single sleeve

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 11th, 2014. Artwork published in .
Black Sabbath – “Tomorrow’s Dream” / “Laguna Sunrise” single sleeve
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

The type on the cover of the Tomorrow’s Dream single looks a lot like West Barnum. However, it has unbracketed serifs, and the ‘A’ has no top bar.

Photo-Lettering’s West Barnum Ultra, designed by Dave West and digitized by Ben Kiel & Adam Cruz, was film no. 5494 in the original Photo-Lettering archive. It arrives on Photo-Lettering with and without a shade. — House Industries

The ultra-heavy Western face was originally drawn in the 1960s. It is quite possible that there were variants and alternates.

There are two related but clearly weaker digital versions. One is PL Barnum Block, which is credited to Dave West, but — mainly due to more open counters in the uppercase and a looser spacing — doesn’t have the same punch as West Barnum. The other one is Bolster, an all-caps variation with a few “biform” characters.

I assume the term Barnum is derived from circus pioneer P. T. Barnum (1810–1891). It is also used as the name of the corresponding style category on the Photo-Lettering website, where it collocates all kinds of Circus types.

Unrelated: Black Slabbath, “the heaviest typeface in the world”.


  • Umbra 27




Artwork location

6 Comments on “Black Sabbath – “Tomorrow’s Dream” / “Laguna Sunrise” single sleeve”

  1. In Phil’s “Homage to the Alphabet” 1980 catalog there is a typeface called Umbra No. 57 which matches all the letters on this cover except the apostrophe (which may be something the album art designers made on their own to squeeze in more big type).

    Unfortunately the Phil’s catalog offers no other info and the names therein are not always the same as the original designs, but it’s one step closer to knowing this type, I suppose.

    I’ll upload the specimen shortly.

  2. Is it possible to upload this specimen of Umbra No. 57?

  3. Better late than never …

    This is indeed Umbra 27 [sic!], designed by Karl-Heinz Domning for Berthold Fototypes in 1972. I’ve changed the typeface ID. Here’s a sample:

  4. How do I get this font ?

  5. Hi Lilian, up to this moment, Umbra 27 is not available as a digital typeface. You could have a look at one of its “Related typefaces” (and their related typefaces) to find a digitally available typeface with a similar look and feel.

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