Opening sequence typeface for To Kill a Mockingbird


Hi everyone,
I've been quite perplexed over the last few days trying to figure out what this particular typeface is.
It appears on the opening sequence of Gregory Peck's 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird." The typography struck me as beautifully modern but I am yet to determine what it is set in. I think there's another forum on this topic that suggested Akzidenz Grotesk as being a likely candidate, however, they didn't arrive at any solid conclusions and I'm adamant that someone out there knows! Such is my curiosity that I've created an outlined vector file showing the differences that are most apparent to me.

Anyways,
Thanks for your help!

isaac.minogue's picture

Oops, sorry about the large images folks. It's my first post on this website - please forgive!
For some reason I can't figure out how to edit this post, but for the time being you can see the images over here:
https://twitter.com/IsaacMinogue/status/347937723744661504/photo/1
https://twitter.com/IsaacMinogue/status/346272150434480128/photo/1

Frode Bo Helland's picture

* To follow *

37DMK's picture

When i have a look at this it appears to be a phototype version of the Akzidenz Grotesk. This means, that i don’t think it’s possible to reproduce it with a vector font. Probably it was done with a “duck-shooter” or Diatype (1960) from Berthold. That would explain why the letters don’t look like todays Akzidenz.

It is not likely to be a “Shelter Grotesk NF” because it is not that geometric and the /C doesn’t close that much. With “Hass Grotesk” i believe you refer to the “Alte Haas Grotesk”, if so, that is highly unlikely because the “Alte Haas Grotesk” later redesigned and known as Helvetica always ends its strokes with horizontal endings. The “Royal Grotesk” would be entirely possible but it is just an alternated Akzidenz released in 2009, probably made by an older copy of the Akzidenz Grotesk.

hope that helped you solving your problem

best regards

Albert Jan Pool's picture

In some cases the Starsettograph / Starograph / Staromat-Versions of Berthold typefaces differ from the Diatype version.
According to Wikipedia, the film To Kill a Mockingbird is from 1962 and it has been produced in the US. The first Diatype was sold in 1960 but I wonder if Berthold had been selling these in the US as early as 1962. The first Starsettograph, as produced by Film-Klischee GmbH before they were bought by Berthold is from 1961.
My conclusion: Akzidenz Grotesk: yes, Diatype: no, Starsettograph: unlikely …

37DMK's picture

Exactly my point. Those versions all differ from each other.
I was just searching for phototype machines and the first one of Berthold the Diatype happened to be somewhere around the release of the movie in 1962. That was more of an assumption than a conclusion i uttered there.
Isn’t there some kind of website, that shows the evolution process most of the popular typefaces went through?
Something like a history book of type =)

best regards

Albert Jan Pool's picture

I think that website has to be invented yet. Until then, Identifont entries ‘influenced by’ and ‘inflluence on’ usually give a clue on where to look. Also www.linotype.com describes the source materials or mentions older typefaces that had on influence on the typefaces that are currently available.

isaac.minogue's picture

Thank you all!
Such a wealth of knowledge.

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