(x) Volvo titling face - Volvo Broad {Yves, Peter}

Does somebody know the font used for Volvo-headlines?


Volvo Head.jpg


The all caps Volvo titling font is an exclusive typeface, not available on the market. I know because we occasionaly work for them, and have a copy on our server. I can give you the name tomorrow when I’m back at the office, but that’s all I can do, I’m afraid.

And don’t you miss those excuisite numerals, “Q” and “&”…


Yves, you are right on all counts. Pardon my
thunder-thefting neglect. I bow to anyone who’s
worked at FontShop Belgium. (BTW, you must know
Jan Middendorp? Saw him present at TypeCon02.
He was interesting and funny.)

Back on topic: I was thinking of Red Rooster’s Elston.
Note the ‘S’ and numerals.

Oh, and here the Red Rooster claims that
“This typeface is used by a famous European car
company in all their marketing!” I’m not sure
Usherwood, Jackaman and co. are doing their
research. They could use a Peters on staff.

Scoles, as I said before, you’re simply too tough to beat… the Red Rooster face is an almost perfect match. It’s not as condensed, and the “Q”, “&” and “9” are dead give-aways, though, despite what Usherwood, Jackaman and co. might say. Is this a “chicken or egg” situation? Does anyone know when Volvo Broad was designed? Elston was digitized in 1993, but I don’t know what year Usherwood’s original dates from.

I know OF Jan Middendorp: I barely know him, as he kinda replaced me after I left in the mid-nineties. I read the stuff he writes for “Druk”, the FontShop mag (section “Boeken en magazines” > “Magazines”). I can deduce from his writings that he must be interesting and funny, indeed.

A lot of Red Rooster’s fonts are digital renditions
of old display type. So I wouldn’t be surprised
if both Volvo Broad and Elston came from a
similar wooden source.

“Does anyone know when Volvo Broad was designed?”
The font info says 1992.

I used to work for the company who used to do all the Volvo web pages globally. After having problems with not having any accent characters I did a full set font for us to use internally. I also fixed up the really bad kerning (or lack of kerning). I forgot to make a reference copy for myself though.


That would be great. Thanks a lot.

It’s called Volvo Broad
made/customized by someone called “The Electronic Studio” or is that a software that I never heard of

They probably did the Volvo Sans & Volvo Serif too.

ouch, the kerning on that baby pretty much sucks. It has a nice quality sans the bad kerning though… yay Sweden!

Peter, Volvo Sans and Volvo Serif are nothing more than renamed versions of the original Adobe volume of Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk (sans the delightful Light Osf nor the italics) and Berling (a Swedish typeface by Karl-Erik Forsberg) respectively. I thought they looked awfully familiar when I first received them to make one of their in-house mags. A quick check confirmed my suspicions.

I hate this 9-hour handicap in these “who can identify this font first” races for living in Belgium. :( Anyways, Scoles is simply too tough to beat, and Hrant is no wuss neither ;)

Here’s some eye candy re: Volvo types. This is my first venture in uploading images, so please bear with me…


Yves, good catch with Berling (the font used in the MS Reader, BTW, I suspect because Bill Hill correctly prefers fonts with short descenders, at least for text) — the Akzi is a dead giveaway. The “Broad” though seems to be unique, and to me pretty attractive; look at that “3”!


Hrant’s right about Volvo Broad. As far as I know
it’s completely proprietary. But there are a few
faces like it. I’ll post later.

THX Hrant! I used to do this kinda stuff for a living when I was the local so-called “type expert” at FontShop Belgium (I used to study the FontBook nightly before going to bed, which proves how type-nerdy I can get). You’re right about the attractiveness of Volvo Broad: the vertical stress in combination with the rounded corners give it a nice tension, making it an extremely sexy face.
And Scoles, don’t you go stealing my thunder: I was the one who pointed out at the beginning of this thread that Volvo Broad was “completely proprietary” (which proves what a vain glory-hound I am)  ;P

As far as similar faces go: although there’s more than enough condensed grotesks out there, the typical straight “S” (almost a mirror image to the “Z”), “C” and “G” with horizontal endings, as well as the signature “W” make it extremely hard to find a substitute. Berthold Block Extra Condensed is the closest match I can think of. It has the vertical stress, the rounded corners, the signature “W” et al, but its wobbly outlines lack the tension of the real thing.