Pre-digital dry transfer era similar to Helvetica Inserat

donshottype's picture

This from a pre-digital dry transfer sheet used to make a font -- Mr. Black -- brought to my attention by Ryuk
It looks a lot like Helvetica Inserat but the J is different.
I checked other pre-digital suspects but found nothing closer.
Any suggestions? Did I miss a match?


bojev's picture

Looks like some variant of Smart Sans Std (Bold) from Monotype - check it out.

donshottype's picture

Thanks Bob. According to Identifont Rod McDonald designed this in 2000 based on influences from Compacta and Helvetica Condensed. I did check the digital outlines of Smart against those of Mr. Black and found that the bold weight is fairly close to the unknown pre-digital font used to make Mr. Black.
Still searching. Perhaps it has not been digitized. Have no information as to the source of the dry transfer sheet used for Mr. Black other than it was used in Poland. Photolettering? Filmotype? European company? The mystery persists.

donshottype's picture

My efforts to find the original source font have produced no closer matches.
At this stage the most productive thing to do would seem to be a basic restoration of the letters. Did a few:


Doghouse's picture

At first glance, Folio Bold Condensed looks to have a few similarities but when I did an overlay the J and Q are very different, plus the N, M and W are much wider. Oh hum - just an observation. Variants of Akzindens may be worth looking at, as Helvetica, Univers and Folio are all part of the Swiss "International Typographic Style".
Good hunting!

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