I have decided to attempt digitizing the typewriter font "Cubic" by the Swedish typewriter company Facit (complete name of the font is "Cubic 10/12 FA 46"). This project was initiated as a consequence of a request by Ivan Durakov on the Type ID board: [[http://typophile.com/node/66566|Re-creation of IBM Selectric "Report" font?]] He had noticed the similarity between the Facit font and "Report" by GP Technologies. To further investigate the different variants of this font, I have collected a few specimens, as seen in the following picture. (For now, I have concentrated on the lower case letters. The numeral 1 is also included for comparison.)
(A higher resolution picture is available [[http://web.comhem.se/alatius/fonts/cubic-lcalfabets.png|here]].)
A word on how this picture was made: each of the letters seen in lines 2, 3 and 4 has been produced by taking the average of several different instances of the same letter, in order to even out imperfections in the reproduction. This is the same technique as discussed in these two forum threads: [[http://typophile.com/node/9245|Christian Gothic]] and [[http://typophile.com/node/17260|Faithful revivals from early printed pages]].
Line 1 shows Report, a scan taken from a typeface catalogue generously provided by Jim Forbes (behind [[http://www.selectric.org/|www.selectric.org]])
Line 2 shows the font of Ivan Durakov’s specimen, written on "a 1981-ish vintage Facit daisy wheel". Evidently, this text has been photocopied before scanning.
Line 3 shows the font of a Swedish computer manual, ca. 1986. This too has been photocopied, possibly several times, which accounts for the very bold look. (This manual was what I relied on when making the font [[http://home.student.uu.se/jowi4905/fonts/svbasicmanual.html|SV Basic Manual]] many years ago.)
Lines 4 and 5 show Cubic, scanned directly from prints written with a Facit typewriter this year, without any intermediate photocopying. Line 5 is one instance of the alphabet; line 4 is the average of several dozens instances. (I included both to demonstrate the effect of this averaging: if you look at the high resolution picture, you may notice that the result is detailed enough to reveal a small indenture on the top left of "s"!)
The photocopying makes it a bit difficult to tell, but I believe 3 is identical to 4/5. Font 2, while taken from a Facit typewriter, is obviously different. Things that I have noticed, apart from "1", include more rounded "a" and "g" and a more closed "c"; I also believe the curvature of the bowls of "pqdb" is more quadratic. Report (line 1), finally, is obviously very similar to the Facit typefaces, apart from the "y"; in many ways it actually looks to me like an intermediate stage between 2 and 4.
In my digitization I will concentrate mainly on the mature Cubic, since that is the one I have the best specimen of, and rely on Report for the few characters which were not included on the Swedish keyboards (notably "@"). I will post a first draft later, along with some questions on how to best proceed. Despite some earlier tinkering, this will be the first serious font I make, and I look forward to your hopefully helpful critique!