NYC Taxi License

checkertaxi's picture

This license uses several different fonts.

If you could breakdown each font, I would appreciate it.

I think the following are the same font just bolded and unbolded:
License Number

PRATT MICHAEL (Above License Number):

I think the following are the same:
OCT 1997

Thanks again!

license_oct_97.jpg41.64 KB


donshottype's picture

Perhaps New York City might not appreciate your initiative in making your own licenses.

jvdesign's picture

I agree, Don! I always wonder about some of the requests that come through here, like register receipts (oh and by the way IRS auditor I have these) and others. I seem to remember a driver's license a couple of years ago...

donshottype's picture

Yes John, perhaps we have been too eager to help with receipt fonts. Thanks for adding this to the list of suspect requests.

checkertaxi's picture

I never thought of this. Please let me explain.

I own an original NYC Checker Taxi from 1981. I am trying to recreate a license for the vehicle. The license in the photo is from 1997. The current NYC taxi licenses are completely different.

If I was trying to "hid" the fact that I am creating something illegal, would I post the entire pictures. I would have just put a word or two up for identification.

Here is a picture of the car I am trying to create it for:

I hope this clears things up. I can see how you would think what you originally thought.

kthomps5's picture

Checkertaxi is correct--the current medallion licenses look nothing like his sample.

Carbon Bold was pretty close for the name, not so close for the numbers:

Screener is great for the name, closer for the numbers:

The labels appear to be Helvetica Bold.

checkertaxi's picture

kthomps5 - thanks so much. Any chance there are free fonts out there?

kthomps5's picture

Sorry, all I found were commercial/pay fonts.

Birdseeding's picture

Well, you could always look through Fontstruct to find something similarly angular and dot-matrixey:

For Helvetica, no. Arial, which should be on your system, may do okay.

jvdesign's picture

Sorry for the initial mix-up. I hope you do understand how we could have thought you were up to something sneaky. The car by the way is beautiful and I can certainly see why you would want to bring it back to as close to original or period as possible!

checkertaxi's picture

No problem, no offense taken. Thanks for everyone's help. I appreciate all the feedback.

quadibloc's picture

I think that the square/angular lettering on the license wasn't printed using "type" - not by a phototypesetter, and not by hot lead or wood type.

Letters like that, designed so they could be printed in different sizes, because their fundamental elements were square blocks and the triangles that result from cutting a square in half, were programmed into some dot-matrix printers intended to print labels and bar codes and stuff like that. For example, Centronics made some like that.

But it might also be noted that even though your intent is innocent vehicle restoration, and the taxi licenses in question, being of an obsolete format, couldn't "fool anyone" in the sense of allowing an unlicensed taxi to operate, it's still possible that the licenses could be protected under laws intended to prevent the counterfeiting of official documents. These laws usually tend to be written broadly - thus, we hear of the Treasury Department seizing coffee mugs because they ran afoul of regulations restricting the pictorial portrayal of money, even though the mugs could not actually be passed as counterfeits.

donshottype's picture

Good points John.

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