Home / ATypI All Over 2020

Why Music Fonts Haven’t Evolved for the 21st Century

In 2013, I was stuck. I had been working for years in music engraving, but I hit a plateau. I just couldn’t get my sheet music looking any better! One night, I was in bed staring at a page of sheet music. It was a sans text font along with the music font. Then it hit me! Music fonts suck. The journey to figure out why has taken me through thousands of pages of sheet music and to rare books rooms, including the Getty Research Center and Huntington Library. Up till now, I’ve kept all my research/discoveries and techniques to myself. In this presentation I will cover: • How music font evolution was stunted • What is missing in today’s music fonts • How our fonts have addressed these issues


Dave Lawrence

Cofounder California Type Foundry

Dave Lawrence is the lead type designer at the California Type Foundry. He comes to fonts from a career as a music engraver, a graphic designer for sheet music. Notable music engravings include designs for the African American Requiem, a limited edition Mozart’s Voi Che Sapete, and scores and parts for orchestras worldwide. Dave brings his keen eye to the California Type Foundry, where he is working on the California Series of fonts for editorial design. Other projects include “The Matchmaker Handbook: The Ultimate System for Pairing Fonts”, the California Type Foundry Ornament Catalogue, and the Lean Workflow.