50s/60s Fonts Used in Design (that are still easily availible)

adamschoales's picture

Hey everyone just a quick question here that I'm sure will be easy for all the typophiles...

im currently working on a DVD for a production of Grease (which is set during the late 50s early 60s depending on who you ask) and being the nerd that I am I want to ensure that all the typography is Period sensitive.

I know that Futura was around and Was planning on setting stuff in this but its a bit plain/boring/just plain not wild about the font. I was just curious as to what other fonts were around at the time?

The current design uses Futura for the chapter text (which is somewhat hard to read at such small sizes) and I was using the Tiki Script font from House Industries (I know its a recent font but it looked "of the period").

Any other suggestions for fonts FROM the era (or at least that look of the period).

Thanks very much.

cuttlefish's picture

Grease 2 was explicitly stated in the script as being during the Kennedy administration, so it can be assumed that Grease was set a short time before. No later than 1962, which still puts it culturally in the '50s.

adamschoales's picture

Thanks Cuttlefish. Didn't know that! Any suggestions font wise?

adamschoales's picture

@eliason thanks for those. looks as though most are "50s" style which is great. However, does anyone know of actual fonts FROM the 50s/60s? I want to make Mark Simonson proud lol

eliason's picture

MyFonts also has a search feature where you can specify "design date" "is before" "1960" etc. that might be worth playing with.

Thomas Levine's picture

There's a rather obvious one that I won't mention as you probably don't want to use it.

If this is for titles and captions, I'd suggest that you look at old videos. If this is for things in the video, I suggest that you look at old advertisements and other documents.

While you shouldn't use a more recent font, you're quite likely to find older fonts that were frequently used in a certain way in the 50s and 60s.

I unfortunately don't really know anything about Grease, so I won't give any more specific suggestions.

.00's picture

I would think that most of the display "type" seen in the 50s and early 60s was really lettering. So looking at old advertisements would give a good sense of what was being used at the time for display. But it would be lettering and not type.

paragraph's picture

I found these in a big book of ads (only listing those that I can recognise easily): 1950–59: Rockwell, Franklin Gothic, Century Schoolbook. 1960–69: Futura, Gill Sans, Goudy, and lots of other serif fonts. And, of course, the good old H., especially the bold condensed.

adamschoales's picture

@paragraph -- perfect thanks. that looks like just what I needed. I'm sure I'm going overboard. It's a DVD for a Highschool production. No one will notice these details but me. Either way you guys have been a big help.

I wouldn't want to commit the typographic crime of using non-period appropriate fonts.

I'm thinking something along these lines:

.00's picture

Take a look at the Blue Note record album covers of the early 60s. If you gave to do the font thing.

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