Delicatessen Subtitles

Stephen Coles's picture

These (very nice) English subtitles are from the 1991 French film "Delicatessen". I imagine that Miramax is responsible for them since they are the US distributor of the film. It was released in the US in 1993 but this version (from Netflix) could be from a DVD released later.

My first guesses were TheSans, FF Strada, FF Kievit, FF Profile, even FF BeoSans. But none of these fit.

Beyond identifying the font, does anyone know how I can find the team responsible for these? Subtitling often doesn't get credits in the film or on IMDB. Emails to Miramax have gone unanswered. I'd like to write a piece for Fonts In Use, but I imagine my request pales in comparison to the big time press inquiries they get daily.

Stefan H's picture


Since the film is French (great film btw) Mr. Porchez might be "responsible" somehow?

eriks's picture

Thought it was Graublau, but it isn’t.

eriks's picture

There are some standard caption fonts for TV from Philips, and we have also just designed a few of them, but this is a regular typeface, not a special one for that purpose. I know that I know it, but I’m having one of those senior moments where I cannot quite place it. Not one of Georg Seifert’s, which is what I thought at first. But one of those where one or two weights are available for free.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

Tough one indeed. It reminds me of Tim Ahrens’ Aroma so maybe he can help?

Andale by Ascender is close too, but has a different l (among others).

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

According to Amazon, there are at least 2 DVD (2006, 2008) and 1 Blu-ray (2010) editions of "Delicatessen," and they are all from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Perhaps they commissioned the subtitles? (Don't know for sure, of course.)

steve matteson's picture

Thanks for seeing this Stephen - this is indeed Andalé Sans. Originally created for UI in the Apple IBM joint venture called 'Taligent' which didn't quite take off. And named for the best Mexican Taqueria in the SF Bay area. Huevos to die for :-)

Stephen Coles's picture

Thanks all! It looks like they trimmed your 'l', Steve.

Do you know who makes the decision on subtitle font? The distributor? Or are captions and subtitles simply data and the player has the fonts built in?

steve matteson's picture

The answer about decision making is 'all of the above'... we have worked with distributors to license type for subtitles. But some players include fonts to render the captioning. The mysterious 'l' is either due to the fact we have offered one with and one without a 'foot'; or someone did, in fact, lop off the foot in the bmp file used to render this.

Indra Kupferschmid's picture

You can school Mr. Coles with Ascender fonts any time :)

Stephen Coles's picture

And yet I never learn my lesson.

Stephen Coles's picture

Speaking of Ascender, they published a fonts for captions report in 2006 but it must be out of date by now, no?

billdavis's picture

Yes, this study is now 5 years old. If anyone wants to commission us to create a new report, please let me know. :)

Stephen, as to your question on who makes the decision on the subtitle font, the answer is not an easy one because there are so many people/companies involved in the process. So it could be "all of the above" multiple guess answer... We've licensed fonts to a variety of different companies involved in the process.

I think the good news in all of this is that the state of the art continues to advance, and we are seeing better quality typography on the big screen, in addition to the small screens!

Stephen Coles's picture

For reference, I have one answer to my question about subtitling on Quora.

Quixotequest's picture

Subtitles are all rendered by our authoring house via whichever software suite they are using for a particular media. In my experience it is rare on distributor or studio side for someone to pay attention to details like this. I would suspect it is the individual author(s), and perhaps even a design commitment of the whole authoring house, to own good choices for subtitling typefaces. I would doubt it extends much higher in the project hierarchy than that — especially based on my experience with Lionsgate.

Syndicate content Syndicate content