News: Type ID proves another forgery case

eliason's picture

Story at the Dallas Morning News
Lucille Hester, the 69-year-old former school teacher who provided the "goosebump moment" of Bob Hayes' Pro Football Hall of Fame election last weekend, tried Wednesday to answer thorny questions about type fonts.

Hayes' family members have questioned the validity of the letter she read to a national TV audience, noting in particular a "Bob Hayes" signature they say is obviously forged.

But on Wednesday, the focus turned to the letter's typeface. At The Dallas Morning News' request, one of the world's most noted typeface designers examined a photo of the purported Hayes letter, which was dated Oct. 29, 1999.

Dutch designer Luc(as) de Groot said the letter's typeface is "definitely Calibri," which he designed for Microsoft in 2003. It was not available to the public until the debut of Microsoft Office 2007.

Rest of the story at the link above.

Si_Daniels's picture


"The News sent the same photo to forensic typography expert Thomas Phinney, who agreed that the typeface is Calibri."

k.l.'s picture

Haha! Never use latest system fonts to create old documents. :D

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Oh my. Forensic typography expert!

kentlew's picture

"You talked to the [font] expert, so what else is there to say?"

Zara Evens's picture

Fascinating. I especially like the comments:

"He's wrong. It's not Calibri, it's actually Sans-serif (probably MS Sans-serif) which has been around forever. The spacing of the letters is the difference."

"You know more than the two named typography experts? Wow."

"Yes I do, obviously."

Si_Daniels's picture

I agree the comments from the Cowboy's faithful are the best part of the article. America's Team, indeed!

Yehan's picture

LOL...Calibri indeed!

John Hudson's picture

The spacing of the letters is the difference.

That was particularly rich, because one of the tests Thomas ran was to retype the letter in Word 2007 with Calibri. Not only did it match perfectly, but it was evident that the letter was created using Word's default settings.

C'mon forgers, throw us a difficult one.

nepenthe's picture

What is especially cool about this is that the newspaper writers would have to have known that it was Calibri to know they should contact Luc(as) in the first place. I detect a typophile working at the Dallas News! Or did they contact Thomas first?

I hope Thomas chimes in on this one. BTW, great graphic, eliason!

Si_Daniels's picture

A reader originally pointed out the font issue...

... and suggested they contact Luc. As the story developed the journalist contacted people from the industry associated with the font, and at least one of them pointed him to Tom.

Cheers, Si

Sye's picture

this was a great story. well done all!

dtw's picture

Hilarious. Now there's an instance where the author should've used TNR!
Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

PublishingMojo's picture

Doesn't it drive you crazy when you see a movie that's supposed to be taking place in England in the 1920s, and somebody's reading a Times set in Times New Roman, introduced in 1931? Okay, maybe it's just me.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I blogged about this at moderate length:

For the typographers out there, the Dallas Morning News gave me permission to post a higher-res version of the photo than was seen on their own web site, the same pic they emailed to me and Lucas.



Thomas Phinney's picture

BTW, thanks for the graphic, eliasion! My wife and I got a kick out of it. :) Can I nab it and use it elsewhere?


eliason's picture

Glad you liked it - of course you're welcome to do what you like with it. :-)

Thomas Phinney's picture

Thanks - and sorry for misspelling your name.

Thanks also to John and Lucas for confirming that Calibri's advance widths weren't based on anything else....

BTW, I did reply to the comment on the article itself... it was pretty silly. Yeah, MS Sans Serif. Heh.


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