ID: Computer/sci-fi typeface from the '70s

NitroLiq's picture

Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me track down an old typeface that is seriously throwing me for a loop. This was used on an old guitar amplifier in the '70s (example). It's in the same vein as Letraset's Data 70 as well as Checkbook (loosely). I've hunted through Dafont, House Industries, Google images, etc. and have come across a few in a similar style but the real thing is still eluding me. I'm looking at the capital "V" and "M" in "VOLUME"—especially the serifs on the "M" and the fact that that both letters are oblique while the rest are straight. Anyone have any ideas?

Ray Larabie's picture

The link didn't work, is this correct?

idiotcountry's picture

Very, very close to 'Automation' (page 70 of the Solotype catalog and 'released' at some point by Soft Horizons).

idiotcountry's picture

Same font over in this thread as well:

http://typophile.com/node/69100

Letraset would have been Data 70, so this might be... Mecanorma? Another press letter co?

NitroLiq's picture

@typodermic—The middle chassis in the link you posted would be the one. The one on the far right is using Checkbook or something similar (I don't know how long that one's been around). Let's see if these examples show up better (apparently tripod doesn't want folks direct linking).

VOLUME

Front Panel

@idiotcountry—Thanks for setting me on the right path. I found Otto Mason SH (essentially Automation) as a Truetype. Do you have the Solotype book? I was looking at the Solopedia and it says there are four variations of Automation. I'd love to see them if you can post a scan. Looking at the amp chassis pics above, some letters are close (or are correct) to Otto Mason SH but there are others like the "O" and "D" that aren't correct. Those actually look closer to something like Checkbook. I wonder if the original amp builder just cobbled the font together from a couple resources. If it comes down to it, I can use both to create the words I need, then just tweak in Illustrator.

NitroLiq's picture

Actually, the "D" is correct.

idiotcountry's picture

The 'D' from Otto Mason (Automation) isn't correct. It's slanted. On your faceplate, it's vertical. As is the letter 'Y' - among others. I'm guessing Otto Mason was modified from the original?

NitroLiq's picture

No Idea. You're right about the "D". I was going back and forth with too many typefaces when I posted. I saw the four variations for Automation (outlined, rimmed, shadowed and standard) from the Solotype catalog at google books. I was hoping they were more about character alternates but no dice. I'm just going to just start with Otto Mason as the primary face and take some cues from some of the others to create the words I need. Found an interesting discourse on the original videogame typefaces that I thought was kind of interesting...shows some other typefaces used from the era:

http://www.thevideogametext.com/vgt/micresque

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