Wood Letter Typeface


I recently did some typesetting at Jarrolds Print Museum, in Norwich, England.

I printed with a wood letter typeface, called 'Sans Bold "34". I've created a logo out of this font, and now want to use it for the rest of the identity. Is anyone familiar with this typeface, and could you recommend a computerised version?


Harry Hepburn


Find My Font shows Sans Inserat as being close - also various versions of Helvetica

Here's one where BMAREK more or less match your image letterforms and there is a range of weights. It's Dharma Gothic Your specimen seems to be between the ExtraBold and Heavy. Seems narrower than your specimen.
Here's one based on 1898 woodtype where BMARE more or less match your image letterforms but at a lighter weight: Cheap Pine. But K seems different. Same issues with Industrial Gothic.
Might be a closer digital font.
Also, as you perhaps already know, some people are recreating actual woodtype. Here's one that is close American Wood Type Mfg. Co. Catalog/Sans Serif Cond No 3.

Some I like,clean: Hector, Balboa, Block Gothic (my pick, may be too clean though), Gothic, Rama Gothic (Dharma's brother), Eckhardt Headline, Smart Sans/Plakette (~Inserat), Sorren Ex, Xheighter Condensed, Railroad Gothic
Some (mimicking) wood type now: Goshen, Thunderhouse, Toronto Gothic

Thank you so much everyone, for all your responses.

I'm sure one of these will suit my needs.


FYI, the Chank fonts (such as Goshen) are all based on actual wood faces (hand traced from the prints).

Personally, if you want to stick with the aesthetic, I'd see if you can get the full alphabet re-printed and use the actual bitmap scans if you can.

I agree with aluminum that to get an exact match it would be best to work direct from your own images rather than trying to find a font that precisely matches "Sans Bold 34." Each wood type foundry used its own numbering system, so a similar font from another foundry might be sold as Gothic 55 or Grotesk 101. Also some foundries used different names/numbers for different font sizes.
If I recall correctly, wood type foundries did not have the equivalent of the electrotyping process used by metal type foundries to precisely copy the typefaces of competitors. So exact copies of wood type would have been labor intensive and would cut into profits.
The only way you might be assured of an exact match is if the digital font designer cites your foundry. I note that your source is at a museum in the UK, so I presume that this is a British foundry.
However, you might be in luck. The Mecanorma font British Inserat is based on a British source and looks close for the letters BMAREK shown in your sample. Note that R lacks the the kick at the end of the leg.
Good luck with your project.