(x) Spaced out

identifont was no help on this one.
anyone know it off the top of their head?
extra points for naming the band.



Well, the band is Fu Manchu, but I’ve no idea what the typeface is.

>not to give any of my top-secret sleuthing methods away or anything

i was gonna aks you guys about some methods. or is that breach of ettiquette?
coles revealed a little something a few days back, but there’s got to be a better
way than guessing at search words at myfonts or getting totally lost at identifont.
and don’t tell me it’s all memory either. ‘cause then i’ll be jealous.

Maybe we should start a new thread just for sharing sleuthing techniques. Just generally, however, for my part: I know the names of a good number of basic faces, but most of the time I have to look things up.

The first thing I try to decide is whether the font looks like it was done by an artisan or by someone who maybe has some skill but is not likely to have his/her fonts distributed by the big sites (MyFonts, Agfa, Phil’s, etc.).

If it’s even close to an artisan font, the first thing I try to use is MyFonts’ What the Font. That may mean that I have to do some manipulation of the sample to get something that What the Font can read well. It’s a surprisingly good sleuthing tool. MyFonts carries quite a lot of foundries’ work, so I’d say at least 80% of the queries here can be found on MyFonts.

Sometimes with MyFonts it takes more detailed searches, and sometimes, like today, I just get lucky. Often I’ll start with a font I think it looks like, check out the keywords listed on that page, and see which one(s) might be relevant to my search. (Clicking on “more fonts like this” gives you every font that matches even one of those keywords, so it’s often quite a hefty list.)

I typically don’t find that Identifont helps me, though it doesn’t stop me from trying. What helps in Identifont is to click the link that says “Identify from logo,” which really means, you type in what letters are in the logo (case matters!), and Identifont will try to restrict its questions to what it thinks you can answer. Its database seems to be far smaller than MyFonts, and I think it could ask some better questions, but I have only myself to blame, because I never fill out that little feedback form thingy at the end.

When it looks, how shall we say, like it was done by someone who wouldn’t want to work for either Adobe or T-26, and vice versa, there are a number of sites I check out. It’s quite time-consuming sometimes.

Sometimes someone asks about a font that’s only known about by the most in-the-know, and on those I bow to people here who are the artisans themselves, who have stacks of type specimens in their libraries. I’m frankly in awe of these people.

Finally, often I end up searching through a bunch of different small foundry sites and follow links to others. I don’t usually find what I’m looking for, but in these cases, the journey is usually more worthwhile than the destination, as I come across tons of interesting fonts that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Other people will have more to add, I’m sure!

big fu manchu fan john?

No, big Google fan. (*_*)

Also suddenly a big fan of Japanese smileys.

those japanese smileys are great. i’ll have to try them some time.

>the journey is usually more worthwhile than the destination

that’s why i only have a couple of notches
in my belt (not to mention that there are
some people around here with insane type
libraries in their heads). while i’m busy
browsing sites and messing with whatthefont
and indentifont, someone has casually
identified it. oh well. thanks for the tips.

I don’t think I can add much to Dave’s method, which looks pretty thorough. If I fail to identify it at first glance, my first step is similar: trying to determine where you need to go looking is a good start. I’m more of a “paper” researcher: a combination of FontBook and Rookledge’s International Typefinder usually does the trick. If it’s not in there I’m pretty useless.

But I think that’s the strength of this forum: by combining the skills of people with different backgrounds and search methods we cover a lot of ground, and the fact that we are geographically spread out guarantees 24/7 Type ID service. Pretty kewl, innit?

This appears to be an artificially slanted version of ITC Bolt. The numerals are the actual italics of Cooper Black.

Thank God for real italics, I say. Or, you know, whoever invented them.

Oh, wait, that wasn’t off the top of my head. I had to look it up. ;-)

that must be why identifont lead me astray.
what’s up with the cooper black/bolt combo?
someone got kitsch-happy, i guess. big fu manchu fan john?

You know, I was sure that font was some free font someone picked up somewhere. Still, I poked around MyFonts anyway. Go figure: I typed “Space” in the search box, and this font came up about 40th or something (not to give any of my top-secret sleuthing methods away or anything…!). I was shocked, frankly, that this was a commercial font, though I will say I like it better the way it was originally designed, not slanted.

As to the question, “what’s up with the cooper black/bolt combo,” I can only say, uh, no comment.

> I was shocked, frankly, that this was a commercial font

To me that’s about midpack!  :-/


What’s midpack?

As in about 50% of commercial fonts are worse than that. Well, maybe less than 50%, but still.


“Thank God for real italics, I say. Or, you know, whoever invented them.”

The first printer dude to use real italics was Aldus Manutius. It came to him when he was about “mid-pack.”