Two different typefaces used in 1960 U.S. Post Office.

I'd like an assist in figuring out the typefaces used in these pics. Many thanks!


The Ocean Beach signage is very close to Neutraface from House Industries.

Thanks so much for that. I think you have a very good point, but it appears that Neutraface is a relatively recent typeface and this particular signage dates back to 1960. Any ideas on what that might be? Perhaps this typeface inspired Neutraface?

Since both signs are fabricated metal, the letter designs don't necessarily have to match any existing typeface. Both could be based on different weights of Futura. The example at the top is close to Demibold, with the stance of the larger Rs widened a bit, and the numbers rendered as oldstyle figures.

In the example on the bottom (Book weight), the sign fabricator may have decided to use the crossbar of the A as the midline, thereby aligning the bottoms of the bowl for P and R, and the crossbars of the E and F. Note that the crossbar on the G is above the midline, which probably means that it wasn't altered.

Richard Neutra will have to answer the question of whether or not this is the horse before his cart.

That's so cool! I've been playing around with this website just for fun since reading your reply.

I would never have thought that the artist who created both signs might have just taken his or her own artistic license with the typefaces. Also, I contacted the postmaster of this office, and he's interested in finding the answers too. Hopefully we can track it down, as I found out we both share an interest in government-sponsored art.

You may be interested in this thread:

Thank you so much. That thread is right on, and I'll pursue that lead! I had no idea other people were interested in this too before I found Typophile.

If you're serious about an archaeological dig, your city's main library may have back issues of this little gem...

The appropriate issues doubtless contain listing for metal sign fabricators.

I'll have to check that out. Sounds like an interesting lead!