Saturday 2 March 2013

Street Signs

Street signs fascinate me.

If you know the fonts (typeface? I never know the difference) of any signs below, let me know ...


  1. Do you have a copy of:

    Street Name Lettering in the British Isles

    by Alan Bartram?

  2. No, but it sounds like my kind of book (!) - will look for it!

  3. This might be worth a try:

  4. I've had some luck using to find fonts before, although it can't do them all at once.

  5. I am sure you know about Kinneir and Calvert - but just in case

  6. Ha! Lots of this stuff was hand lettered by individual signwriting businesses and often 'bastardized' to fit the space available - so they aren't true typefaces.

    The Slater St one at the bottom seems to be a version of Microgramma, which came into use in the 1950's

    Berners Street is Univers 57

    Windmill St., Lincolns Inn Fields (top), Great Queen Street, Are variations of Gill Sans

    Great Maze Pond, Consort Road and Tramway Avenue are variations of Futura. Although both look similar the 'leg' on letter R is curved and set to the right on Gill but straight and joined to the descender on Futura.

    The other sans serif faces are types of Grotesque (don't know why its called that).

    Tredegar Square and CAMDEN STREET are variants of Garamond, while ST. PANCRAS WAY is similar to a face known as Americana.

    ALASKA STREET is a bit more esoteric.

    WILD COURT, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS and BROAD COURT are variations of what would have simply been identified as a 'modern sans' in Victorian times. The angled cut-off on the lower part of letter C's is a giveaway and hardly exists in late 20th century designs.

    The problem in identifying any old typeface is that modern-day typographers rediscover the styles, re-draw and re-name them. So a lot of the new names aren't what they were originally called.

    Strictly speaking, a typeface or typestyle refers to the design whereas a font was a collection of letters used by printers to actually print from.

  7. Great reply - thanks for all the detail ... much appreciated!

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