So, how far did some typefaces go?

Arthus's picture

A few years ago I did this poster which showed various achievements by some iconic or well known typefaces (and one personal preference) This was based on how far the type had traveled from the earths sea level (and still was visible, so I did not include launch notes printed in comic sans!)

I had to make a reprint this week, and this got me wondering. I went for the easy pickings: Typefaces many people know, and achievements/places many people know. But I'm sure there are many more interesting tales of type traveling out there, especially further in history.

So, does anyone have some nice stories?

lores-poster.jpg106.8 KB
hrant's picture

I want to get this, but I don't. Explain?


Theunis de Jong's picture

The font used on the Apollo lander, for example.

Arthus, the descriptions are only understandable by having a clue in advance of what they might say.

(The Dutch "Rijksoverheid" one is, as it stands, a bit enigmatic. Is this used in underground bunkers?)

Arthus's picture

It's typefaces that have had an iconic 'outing' such as the Futura on the Apollo lander, or Helvetica on the Space Shuttle.

The Rijksoverheid font is used for the corporate identity of the dutch government, and since most of the Netherlands is below sea level, it's a small joke ;)

The New Johnston is of course used in the London subway, Garamond is used for the corporate identity of Stena Line. But yeah the texts do add a tiny bit of information, the lo-res stuff doesn't help. Should have SVG'd it.

Sorry if I was unclear!

hrant's picture

I'm sure Comic Sans has made it to Everest.


Joshua Langman's picture

I think this is great. Do you sell prints?

James Mosley's picture

The New Johnston is of course used in the London subway

You can say this if you like, but in London it is the underground railway (and Johnston’s letter was called after it).

For the resonance of the name ‘underground railway’ (or ‘railroad’ if you prefer), the escape network to the north for slaves, see the good piece in Wikipedia. I've always wondered how far the popular name of the system in London was an unacknowledged link to the US idea.

paragraph's picture

How about the Voyager record, that is on its way out of the Solar System?

Té Rowan's picture

You could probably add whatever faces Boeing and Airbus use for cockpit labels at the 12km line. Deep sea diving equipment... no idea if any of that has a public or official face. Erm... there is one sub at least whose images are overlaid with Gill Sans.

Arthus's picture

Joshua>I haven't sold any, just made some for friends or other typefreaks as a gift, but if you would like one, give me a poke. Transport can be a mess though, even for it's smaller size (It's about 34x59cm) I'd like a bit larger, but then my own printing costs in combination with a nice stock, make it almost impossible.

James>True, but well, Bodoni and Garamond weren't the original names (if they even had those) of the types when they were used. The Garamond is (in most revivals) even combinations of letterforms inspired by him. So I sortof stuck with giving them the name on how they could be found today as a typeface.

I actually never had linked the official name of the London underground to the escape network, but that probably has to do with English being a secondary language, and I usually used the word subway instead. But it's a fascinating nod.

>Paragraph: You are right, I actually didn't recall about the type on the record itself, and originally focused on the Pioneer plaque. However, I must say that the image of the cover is the more iconic image connected to the record. But a good addition still!

>Te: I included Cooper Black (Easyjet corporate identity) and Bodoni (United Airlines) My main reason for this is that there is of course always type going places, but I had to make a choice on how visible and recognizable the type would be. But additions are always good.

I included the Frutiger for subs, since it's the corporate identity of the Royal Navy, although this is a tricky one, since I've only seen Frutiger stenciled on hulls in PR renders/fresh launches.

My first version also included various unnamed stencil type which is used on some bathyscapes. Actually I could include the Trieste (which reached a depth of about 11km) I should try to ID the type used (which is probably custom)

Thanks for the addiitons, I'll have a peek at the Gill sub!

I have some more pictures on my Behance site (don't slag me! it's useful to spread the type around! ;)) Which also includes various slanted pictures with a pretty DoF which actually doesn't add anything and makes the text unreadable. But hey, it's it trendy!

Syndicate content Syndicate content