In 1996, J. Walter Thompson unleased upon the world the extremely popular De Beers “Shadows” ad campaign. In their ﬁrst advertisments, they used a very beautiful serif italic that caught my eye. Since then I’ve been trying to ﬁgure out what it was. I searched high and low. I posted in on usenet back then, but no one was able to help me. I even contacted J. Walter Thompson in London, who produced the ads for De Beers, but to no avail. Eventually, I let it go …
[this is where the plot thickens, to abuse a cliche]
Until a few days ago I ran across Elsner and Flake’s Caslon Rough and thought the italic bore a strange resemblance to my mystery diamond font. When I put them next to each other I was shocked! They’re uncannily close save for the “v.” This would have been perfect and the search could have ended right there were it not for the “roughness” inherent in the face. This led me to think of it as a Caslon, which I had done before but with no satisfactory results.
Now I ask you for help in decoding the mystery … Any ideas greatly appreciated.
The ﬁrst sample was scanned from a De Beers print ad.
The second is a sample of Elsner Flake Caslon Rough.
The Mystery begins ... De Beers Diamond font