(x) Manplan frustration - Neil Bold {Mike Y}


This font features on one of the old Architectural review special issues from ‘69 called ‘Manplan’ (see it in the latest Eye magazine) — any clues as to its identity much appreciated!Manplan font


Last release:

Link to PDF.

– Jas

Myfonts has put Neil Bold from Canada Type in their portfolio today.

Jas - Neil Bold was a VGC original by one Wayne J. Stettler, 1967. VGC ceased to exist long ago.

Opti never created fonts - they just made their own "versions" (clones) and sold them under different names. I understand from friends who were in the business back then that this was common. Companies would clone popular fonts and sell them formatted for a particular proprietary photolettering machine system.

As such, Opti had no "rights" to any VGC fonts. I really doubt that anyone does any more. As evidence of this, you can find plenty of one-time VGC originals digitally reproduced by various entities today.

Just a few examples among many: Amelia (Bitstream [BT], Linotype [LT]), Aquarius (Red Rooster), several of Arthur Baker's faces, Bloc (BT as Geometric 885), China (Mark Simonson as Changeling), Davida (various), Eightball (Canada Type as Orotund), and so on. Oh, and let's not leave out Serpentine, which has been digitized by just about everyone.

So, I would agree wholeheartedly with Mike Y. that " ... it would be a shame to let a good revival go to waste." I see no reason for you not to release what you've faithfully recreated. Note that in some of my examples above, the name was changed from the original. That might be a good precaution, but you've already got that in place with the perfect name of Armstrong.

You've got some wonderful fonts and photograph galleries. I really enjoyed the viewing - especially the pics from Japan.

It’s called Neil Bold, and I don’t know if this has been digitized. I saw in in the 1985 “Homage to the Alphabet” from Phil’s Photo (Now Phil’s Fonts).

Alejandro Paul’s Mobley has similar characteristics.


Too bad about the ‘A’s.

Oh, just saw Mike’s post. Mobley is based on Neil Bold, but since
Alejandro only saw a few characters on a record cover he
invented the rest. His ‘A’ must be one of those.

Yes, too bad indeed. The description of Mobley connects it to the VGC Neil Bold, but it seems that the key words are that Neil Bold was the ‘inspirational source’ of a ‘brand new typographic whole’. In other words, while there may be many similarities, there are also numerous differences.

If you’d like I can post a scan of the typeface from the book.

Just did it. Well, photographed (sorry for the bulging but my
scanner isn’t connected at the mo). The Homage looseleaf is
the best money I’ve spent on ebay in a while.


I find that OptiFonts did a Neil Bold, and it looks like the orginal. That’s the good news and the bad news, because OptiFonts (CastCraft Software) are notoriously hard to obtain. In my experience I have never seen a less responsive outfit than CastCraft.

Here is a sample made with the OptiFonts version. The file information is a bit confusing, but says ‘copyright 1990-91 Castcraft Sofware OPNatty’, possibly suggesting that ‘Natty’ was their actual release name for the font, since they usually renamed typefaces.
OptiFonts Neil Bold

Ah, serendipity… Thanks Mike! :-)

As always, very impressed by the pool of knowledge on Typophile — thanks!

Looking at the Castcraft site I would agree that they seem a pretty chaotic organisation selling scruffily presented and overpriced fonts! — my enquiry was mostly due to curiosity, but if I ever have to purchase this font I know where to try!


Where can i find a copy of neil bold? i couldnt find it on the castcraft site.

I've digitalized this font from an old letraset found in my cupboard.
Here is a sample :

I went to your site and saw the PDF. Seems like a very nice job. Are you also making the font available? (I had trouble navigating your site I am afraid.)

- Mike Yanega

I'm sorry but I don't know if I have the right to sell this font because of the OptiFonts version. I've digitalized it for a school magazine. But I'll try to ask if it's possible to distribute it anyway.

That's OK. I don't need the font. I was just wondering if you were going to sell/distribute it. As long as your digitization is original, I don't think you have to worry about Castcraft, since I'd bet they don't own the design either. You might need to use a new name, since typeface names can be copyrighted.

Since I'm not a font legal expert, you might be wise to get other opinions on this, but it would be a shame to let a good revival go to waste.

- Mike Yanega

If you're interested by this font you can mail me at jas.rew@gmail.com and here is the PDF.