Trajan-like capitals on Joy Division "Closer" album cover by Peter Saville

I hunted all over for this beautiful quadrata, and I can't find it anywhere. It's from the cover of Joy Division's Closer album, designed by Peter Saville.

I cleaned it up and wrangled it so many times to get something out of Identifont that I'm going crazy.

I thought I had a good answer when I found a typeface labeled "Joy Division Closer" at Saville's site, but it's a forgery! (Omigod, someone alert Uli!) They dumped a typeface named Helios SSi onto the site. Changed the name, but didn't bother to change the copyright. To make it worse, it's not even the same typeface. Bla.


i loved that album cover too... I wouldn't be surprised if the lettering was hand-drawn, then 'cut-and-pasted' into place, much like I used to do with headlines around that time

The album has every letter in it but K, Q, and Z, so that would have been quite a lot of work for a then unknown and poorly paid Peter Saville, I should think. Factory Records didn't have a ton of money to be throwing around for custom lettering jobs.

Here's a larger version:

I believe that is a Saville fansite.


No, Factory Records had a ton of money to give to The Happy Mondays to go to the Carribbean to squander on drugs while supposedly working on their appalling Yes, Please album.

Nick Cooke

>ton of money
Made on the back of the sales success of Closer (and the suicide of Ian Curtis).

You’d have thought with this lettering resource (less K, Q, Z) they could have used it for the movie.


I believe that is a Saville fansite.
That's what I figured. Saville was even on Typeradio, so the type gods would have busted him with bad karma had it been his actions.

YAY! Trajan!

Trajan? Blah. I thinks it's closer to Friz Quadrata than anything. And like I might have implied, I don't think it's hand lettered. The entire cover, back, and insides have the same typeface at completely different sizes, sans 3 letters.

What type catalogs would Saville had available in the UK around 1979-1980?

Thine wish is my command, fine Sir. :^P

Wait a second. Friz Quadrata isn't it. Dang it. There was a really close match that I found before, but that ain't it. Sorry Yves. Can you fix it again?

A job from Paul Barnes?? Maybe that thread will lead you further.

I loved "Closer" so much!

Yeah, it's a real laughfest innit?

I loved it too - it really helped the moody misunderstood teenager image.

Nick Cooke