Central California Traction Company

iskippy227's picture

Hello again folks. Got another one for you:

I could be mistaken (wouldn't be the first time, to be sure) that the letters surrounding the cloverleaf are a modified Bank Gothic, but if anyone wants to correct me, I certainly wouldn't take offense. What I need to know is in which font "THE TRACTION CO" is set (if indeed it is a font; the O's look different upon closer investigation).

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

PublishingMojo's picture

No question it's hand-drawn. The Cs and the Os are dramatically different, and the Ts, while similar, aren't identical.
In the course of creating an entire alphabet, a designer catches and corrects gross inconsistencies like:

  • Huge, heavily bracketed serifs on E and T, and practically no serifs on anything else.
  • Diagonal stress on A and (sort of) N, and vertical stress on everything else.
  • It wouldn't be unusual for a logo to be hand-drawn if it was done around the same time the railroad was founded (1905, according to their web site).
    Morris Fuller Benton designed Bank Gothic in 1930, so it's probably not the inspiration for the initials at the corners.

    iskippy227's picture

    I had an inkling that might be the case. I noticed the differences in the Os just as I posted it, and can now see that the C in CO is not a mere horizontal stretch of the C in TRACTION.

    Oh well. Time to fire up Illustrator. Thanks for shedding some light on this!

    dtw's picture

    Now you have the dilemma of whether to reproduce it faithfully or improve it!
    Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

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