Mahler’s Fourth in G – Bold Type

I’ve always been drawn to the bold type on this record cover. However,  up until the writing of this post I don’t believe i’ve ever listened to it. This is certainly one of those albums in my collection that i have simply because of the cover.


I can’t figure out what typeface is used which kind of bothers me. The “R” and “S” on the regular version are kind of unique, both appearing to be flattened and stretched. These forms would be a dead giveaway to identifying what face this is, but for me they’re not. Knowing the name of the typeface or not, i can still tell you what i love about the bold type on this cover.

Let’s start at the top and work our way down…which incidentally is one of the loves, the stacked organization of the words. Everything in its place.

At the top, black letter. If you’ve ready any of my last posts, evidently i’m drawn to this style. I should consider renaming these posts as “Judge a Record by the Blackletter on its Cover”. Let’s leave it at that for now.

Next there’s these great quotation marks. Quotation marks (and certainly not the double prime) are second to the ampersand (&) as the favourite non-letterform of the designer. They frame the quote at the top, leading the eye into the gigantic type to follow.

Here’s where it starts to get interesting. The designer has tracked the name “Mahler’s” extra wide where everywhere else on the cover the type is tracked tight. My first thought in this was “why not use an extended version of the type”? (if there is a condensed version, as we’ll see near the bottom, there’s likely an extended version). As i thought about it though I like the openness of it and i think it makes the name stand out in a field of dark forms.

Lastly, the lower right hand corner features lovely bold full justified type. Nice to see that these letterforms are sized proportionally and not stretched or squished to fill the space.


Mahler's Fourth in G – Bold Type Cover detail upper left corner Mahler's Fourth in G – Bold Type Cover detail upper right corner

One final note about the cover. I love the two boxed images in the upper left and right hand corners. They frame the business of the blackletter type well.

Mahler's Fourth in G – Bold Type Reverse

I’m going to keep it brief on the reverse. I simply love that the type is in an odd number of columns and handled with restraint. The use of an Oxford rule (a thick line running parallel to a thin line) breaks up the sections without adding too much extra noise.

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