Custom or Stock Metal Type?

A University near me has this signage. I assume it's 80+ years old.

Do you think it's custom, or was a "choice" provided by the sign company.


Either way, my guess is that this was designed to be manufacturable. With more samples it might be possible to identify a typeface that could have been the baseline used to design these letters, but then again, the letter shapes (especially the serifs) may have been designed for producibility rather than fidelity to a known typeface. It's just my impression, but the C seems narrower than I would expect given the O.

Based on your question, I assumed you were trying the ID the typeface, but if you were just wondering if these were stock letters by someone who did signage, or custom letters for the specific job, my guess is that this sign maker had a set of molds for an alphabet and cast the letters needed for the signs.

- Mike Yanega

By the way, when I mentioned about more letters, I had in mind the key letters for the Serif Font ID Guide, which would be E, J, K, M, R, U and W. The C, G and Q are also shown in the Guide sample nonsense name, but are not Key letters you can select attributes for.

- Mike Yanega