1920's NYC building façade type

akallaur's picture

Hello all, any ideas on some digital equivalents of this type? Sorry in advance for the not-so-great photos.



Comments

bowfinpw's picture

All bets are off when you are talking about lettering from that period that was manufactured for use on a building. I would suppose an alphabet was designed and letters were cast or cut from that template. The most similar lettering I could find as a digital font was Grand Central by Tobias Frere-Jones for Font Bureau. It is based on lettering from the mid-1800's.

- Mike Yanega

akallaur's picture

Hey Mike,

I was thinking the same for the "all bets are off" scenario with this stuff. If I had access to a scissor lift and was able to get up and get rubbings of the type, I'd work off of that and attempt a redraw myself, but that's not possible unfortunately, thus the reason I'm trying to find a digital version that at least captures the spirit of that type and time.

Many thanks for your response!

-Andrei

bowfinpw's picture

Andrei,
In the future, it would make opening this page much easier if you shrank the images, or at least cropped them down. These were so big that my computer had to spin the rainbow ball just to let me scroll down the page.

I think in addition to Grand Central that I suggested, you could search for serif titling fonts and maybe find others with a similar classic look.

- Mike Yanega

donshottype's picture

OK I'll do this in two easy steps. This is the first one. Enable people to see the lettering in a reasonable format.
Context for the first building:


It's letters:

Context for the second building:

It's letters:

Back to you with some suggestions shortly.
Don

donshottype's picture

These are both personal versions of the old Roman letters on the Trajan column as developed in house by the architects.
For the first one you might start with Aviano, which has about the right width. http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/insigne/aviano/
I recommend you examine the Trajan Alternatives at Typecache http://typecache.com/font-clusters/07/ for a good assortment of candidates to use as a basis for replicating the letters.

Don

donshottype's picture

Some previous threads on building lettering from a century ago, with suggestions for digital fonts
http://typophile.com/node/108022
http://typophile.com/node/107072
http://typophile.com/node/103611
Don

akallaur's picture

@Don and Mike - my apologies for the formatting issue and thanks for the context pointer - lesson learned! I corrected the initial images up top so they're not as huge. Many thanks for taking the time to explain that and make suggestions - I appreciate your time and keen eye.

-Andrei

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