Looking for some info on "Westminster"

zachwhalen's picture


I'm trying to learn more about the font called "Westminster," which has been distributed with Windows since Windows 98. Essentially, it's one of many typefaces like Data 70, Orbit-B, and Moore Computer which create letters that mimic the numeric forms from the MICR font E-13B.

All of the information I can find on the web about Westminster appears to be based on the information Microsoft provides, but I have reason to be suspicious of the accuracy of what it claims.

Mainly, that paragraph seems to suggest that Westminster came first and the others followed. I doubt this because the arabic numerals in Westminster are quite different from E-13B. The article (facetiously) suggests that one might use Westminster's numbers if one owned a bank, but obviously this would not work. Moore Computer, on the other hand, does include numerals more or less identical to E-13B and is generally more faithful to the form, so it seems logical in at least an aesthetic sense that Moore Computer is the first full alphabet based in MICR. (Incidentally, I'm still looking to confirm some basic info about Moore Computer, so if you know anything, please post).

So basically, I'm just wondering if anyone knows anything about Westminster beyond what is in the Microsoft page. The fact that it doesn't actually name the designer also makes me suspicious, as does the fact that I haven't found any mentions of it that pre-date its release with Windows 98. Admittedly, I haven't performed an exhaustive search, but none of the dozen-or-so type encyclopedias, histories and specimen books I've consulted that should cover that period mention it at all.


zachwhalen's picture

Hi again,

Since I'm still looking for info on this Westminster, I thought I'd bump this thread with a more specific question. The paragraph of information from Microsoft fails to mention the designer by name, or even the bank the font is supposedly named after, but it does mention "Photoscript" as its producer. Google searches on "photoscript" turn up many hits which are clearly unrelated, so can someone please tell me (if you know) which Photoscript is being referred to in this context?

Incidentally, I've got samples of Westminster in use as early as 1971, but still no mentions of it by name until the 90s.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

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