Plaque I made and can't remember the fonts I used.

cooplist's picture

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I created this plaque for a friend's son, and now has a daughter and she would like a plaque also. I would like to use the same fonts, but after a long frustrating search, I can't seem to find the right ones. I've found a lot that are similar, but not the exact ones, especially on the first name. Can anyone help? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.


R.'s picture

‘Alexander’ is Monotype Garamond (maybe just called ‘Garamond’ on your machine). ‘Michael Joseph’ is Calibri. ‘9/26/13’ is Century Schoolbook. ‘Inches’ is Arial Bold. The time and the weight are in Times New Roman. I don’t know what you used for ‘22’, but something like Lucida Sans should do.

All of these typefaces have suffered considerable hardship because they were squooshed to fit the available space, resulting in their original design being distorted to the point of being hardly recognisable. Do you think you could do the new plaque without distorting any typefaces? It probably makes no difference for your friend, but everybody with a good eye for type would be grateful, I guess. Thanks in advance!

cooplist's picture

Thanks for the help.

I've sold a lot of these types of plaques in the last 4 years, and have not had one complaint from anyone. I usually save everything with different layers so I can edit just names, but for some reason I didn't do it with this one. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this kind of plaque the way it is without "squooshing" it, and I will continue to do so. I appreciate your help in figuring out the fonts, really I do, but I really could have done without the pety guilt trip over a distorted typeface. I'm wondering why it matters to you, a complete stranger on the internet, what I do. Anyways, again, thanks. I definitely won't be using this service again if I am going to be attacked. Take care.

R.'s picture

It matters to me because I like type. This is why I occasionally try to convince others to work with type in a way that honours the typefaces and their designers’ intentions. Creating a quality typeface involves a well-thought-out decision on the thickness of the letters. The designer tries to give horizontal and vertical lines a stroke width that is both pleasing to the eye and easy to read. ‘Squooshing’ letters, i.e. scaling them non-proportionally, will always destroy this fine balance between horizontals and verticals because you only change the thickness of one of the two. This is not what type designers wanted their designs to look like. If one of your designs featured a photograph of a baby, you would probably be loath to stretch the picture as much as the letters you used. It’s technically possible and to a certain degree, strangers might not even notice the distortion in the photograph (just as they don’t in type), but this is not what parents want their babies to look like.

So what could you do differently? I would suggest that you try to find typefaces that match the width of the space that you have to fill. There are designers who create particularly narrow or wide letters (compare, for instance, Arial to Arial Narrow). You would not have to squoosh these typefaces (as much as the ones you used) to get the intended effect. Below is an example of what this might look like. I am not saying this is finished work, but I want to demonstrate that it is possible to create the look you want without distorting letters. Univers, which I have used for this example, is a typeface that you would have to pay for (if you are interested, follow the link). But there are free quality fonts that you could use just as well. Look around on sites like Google Fonts or Fontsquirrel. Roboto Condensed, PT Sans Narrow and OpenSans Condensed are typefaces that you might like. And if you are looking for more advice, try Typophile—unless you still feel attacked by some well-meaning hints.

bowfinpw's picture

Angela, I think it's unfortunate that you chose to take well-intended, constructive advice as an attack. "R." went to some length to explain why it matters to people who care about type that it be used in the way it was designed to be used. Of course you are free to disregard that advice, since you are making a product for people who don't have interest in the type as such.

I would like to think they could learn though, to appreciate good typography if they saw it more often.

Thanks "R." for reminding us about the craft that goes into good type design, not that it's all good. It's why many of us are typophiles in the first place.

-Mike Yanega

R.'s picture

Thanks for your kind words, to Angela and me! Let’s hope that she takes my suggestions the way I wanted them to be understood—namely as friendly pointers—and comes back here, like I always do, to learn more about type.

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