Trying to identify a Type Style

GarrettCobarr's picture

I am a 3D artist and interactive designer. I am constructing a large virtual world project named Swissopolis in Second Life. We are creating a number of realistic details related to Switzerland.

One of these details are the address plates common through out towns and cites. Through my years in design I have accumulated a number of fonts but not what I would call the "Font Eye". That undefinable ability my fellow designers possess that allows them to identify font styles at a glance.

So I came to the source. I appreciate anyone's help identifying the attached image's font style or something close enough.

Thanks so much.

laurent's picture

The closest that comes to my mind would be Walbaum from Berthold.
Not a perfect match though...

jupiterboy's picture

Prillwitz has some of th elements, but is more geometric.

Roman Solid is also close.

My first thought was Walbaum, but not a match either. It could be that this is not a font but a set of figures designed for this use only. Someone will dig up a match if there is one out there though.

GarrettCobarr's picture

I do know that the Swiss government had a special font designed for their highway and other traffic signs for cantons.

Astra Frutiger.

German street signs are a variant of Helvetica Bold Condensed.

Thanks for your thoughts I will look in my library for those mentions.

BTW, that image was shot in St Galen.

tina's picture

Concerning German street signs: they are mostly DIN (in 3 versions, depending on the length of the name), but sometimes you'll find exceptions.

As well the sign shown above doesn't especially say "Switzerland", you'll find them as well e.g. in France, Germany, ..., but for a general central european feeling it'll be fine.

tina's picture

Public signage would be more significant. With house numbers, as far as I know, you can choose whatever you like - as long as it's decipherable.

David Rault's picture

It might sound as naive as it probably is, but when I think Switzerland, I think Helvetica.


Florian Hardwig's picture

Have you even read the request? What have DIN or Helvetica to do with these house numbers?

Check out H&FJ’s Numbers Package. It features a font called Strasse (‘street’), which is based on this very style.

jupiterboy's picture

^ good one. It appears that these figures are more condensed and the thin didot style strokes have been beefed up—possibly to stand up to the production methods, but also for distance viewing.

Roman Solid has the slant, but is too wide. If you don’t have so many of these to do you might draw them or modify a character set.

Prillwitz for comparison.

GarrettCobarr's picture

Hey all, thanks so much.

If it is not Roman Solid, the font, is most certainly, based on it. Everything matches, I have about 2 dozen images that include all the numbers and they all are the same, maybe a little less heavy and a little more condensed. As Jupiterboy mentioned this is most likely do to manufacturing needs. It does not show it in the image above but the plates are embossed( numbers are produced in a stamping machine) and then the plate is bowed out. Net result of all that is that they are very readable and visible.

Biggest difference that ruled out Prillwitz was the twos and the fives. On the twos, the stroke towards the foot makes a slight curve, Prillwitz has a sharp, crisp angle and the address plate fives do not have the small flourish at the upper tip of the five.

You all saved me a ton of time rooting through fonts. I do not own Roman Solid but at least I know where to buy it.

GarrettCobarr's picture

For fun I will include this image here as well. Florian Hardwig thought this might be a font named "Strasse" I thought it was a Helvetica Bold Condensed.

GarrettCobarr's picture

This is the other mystery font. This is the style of street sign from the French speaking part of Switzerland. These were through out Geneva.

Any salient guesses?

jupiterboy's picture

Helvetica Extra Compressed and some version of Garamond. Maybe someone will know which one.

This is close.

jupiterboy's picture

BTW, there is a font ID section, which you may choose to use for similar questions in the future.

GarrettCobarr's picture

Sorry, just saw that the thread was moved, missed this category when I looked to post the question.


Florian Hardwig's picture

Sorry Tina & David, I have to apologize. It was me who didn’t read carefully. Overlooked that Garrett had expanded his request.

Garrett: With the ‘Strasse’ font, I was referring to the numbers.

GarrettCobarr's picture

Thanks Florian, I figured that out when I visited the site.

Any thoughts on the Geneva street sign?

BTW I am not familiar with a lot of font vocabulary, what is "DIN" ?

jupiterboy's picture

Check my link for the sign font.

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