NEED HELP!! What are the 2 fonts used in this scanned letterhead?

I'm a Graphic Designer, and I absolutely HATE being stuck with having to create Vector artwork from a scanned copy of a logo on letterhead paper. To make it worse, it was a scanned copy of a copy. My customer has no idea what the name of the fonts used in this logo are. I know I've seen these fonts before, but I just can't seem to locate it! I've already re-designed the "logo" part, now I just need to re-type the wording and be done with it! Any ideas?? Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!


Trajan, Gill Sans (both stretched)


You're a Graphic Designer who doesn't know Gill Sans or Trajan?

Nick Cooke.....I'm sorry, I had no idea that Graphic Designers should know all 100,000 + font names, looks, etc. FYI - I'm a VECTOR based Graphic Artist, I don't do a lot of work that consists of font types!! Thanks for your input though, very helpful! lol

Skyfein.....thank you so much! I knew it, I just couldn't get my fingers wrapped around it!

I'm sorry Brian, I just naturally assumed that most Graphic Designers would have a rudimentary knowledge of one of the main tools of the trade like a mechanic would be familiar with a spanner.

Nick, that was my first reaction, as well!

But then I reminded myself that no one -- not even me -- was born knowing the curves of Gill Sans. We were completely ignorant of it for our entire lives, then we learned it. There was one particular day, one moment, when we learned it.

For bdyer, that day was yesterday.

It's no crime to be an aspiring graphic designer, and to want to learn, as she (or he) obviously does.

My two cents.

I'm a vector based graphic designer too Brian - I design typefaces. Maybe I'm just too wrapped up in typefaces that I forgot about the people who don't use them that often.

What's a 'vector based' graphic designer? That sounds like a 'hammer based' carpenter. Sometimes a screwdriver can be useful, too.

@aluminum (and all others):

Ok, I didn't post my question so I could get ridiculed for asking a simple question. I understand, some people take extreme pride in their trade, and feel better about themselves by making another person feel like they are "less" than they are for not knowing something as simple as Trajan, or Gill Sans font. Please, allow me to recap on exactly what I do, cause maybe "Graphic Designer" might be the wrong name:

Basically, I take other peoples logos, when they do NOT have a vector file (.eps, .ai, .cdr) and I re-create their logos for them. In turn, my "re-created" vector artwork get's sent to a Sign Company so they can fabricate electrical signs for their business, which in turn get's mounted on the outside of their building (Channel Letters, Reverse Channel, Light Boxes). You'd be surprised at how many people have a logo for their business, but can only seem to get a copy of a 72dpi JPEG of it. Personally, when I design a logo for someone, I send them a copy of it in every format possible. (.ai, .eps, .pdf, .tif, .jpeg) Basically, I do ALL of my work in Illustrator. Depending on the quality of the bitmap image I receive, I can usually just trace it then clean it up in Illustrator. Most of the time, I DO know the name of the font, or I can find it very quickly, but for whatever reason, on this one.......I had trouble. With the work I do, and the Sign Companies I work with, ALL artwork needs to be vector art. Whether it's cutting 3-D lettering with acrylic, or vinyl lettering on your vehicle, or electrical signs, ALL art needs to be vector. That's what I do for the most part!

In addition to that, yes, I also do logo designs, flyers, brochures, restaurant menus, etc. Obviously, when I'm creating my own artwork from scratch, then finding the right type face to use is never a problem, since IM the designer.

Do I sometimes have problems with "identifying" certain fonts when I need to re-create something? Sure I do!! But I'm always open to LEARNING, hence the reason for joining this forum!!


@ Christopher:

I took your advice, and changed my screen name! LOL Thanks again!

@bdyer23: Welcome to Typophile.

In just one post, you’ve probably already noticed there are some… interesting… folks here. It only gets better. A few tips: I recommend using your real name as your screen name. It used to be somewhat of a convention, and it has been my experience that you get a little more street cred for doing so. Also, in the practice of typography (no, we’re not getting into an endless circular debate about what typography is) , ID’ing fonts is something typographers tend to pride themselves on.

And there’s a bit of a trick: Many alphabets have particularly unique characters. Spot that character, and you know the typeface. For example, in Gill Sans, the tail on the lowercase [a] is a dead give away (check out the top of the bold [t] while you’re at it). In Trajan Roman, the way in which the capital [J] descends below the baseline is also a tell. In addition, these are two incredibly popular fonts, and have been for around for decades. I can say with complete confidence Gill Sans is in 90% of typographers “if I only had 10” list. Trajan used to be popular, but somehow it got co-opted by movie-land. A shame.

If you are interested in looking at the details of typefaces to help you play “name that font” I recommend getting a big paper book with the entire alphabet printed out so you can look at the aspects of individual characters. It has been my experience that many type designers put extra work into the [a] and [g] glyphs (characters) so I usually make an effort to inspect them more closely.

There’s also a ton of digital ID services out there, but I’m a grump old man that likes paper. However, as time goes on, and more and more typefaces are churned out every year (unnecessarily IMO) playing “name that font” is getting harder and harder to win. However, it still feels good to do it from memory.

@aluminum: “Hammer based”. Good one ;)

@ Christopher Dean:

Thank you greatly for sharing your input, I appreciate people who comment with helpful advice, that I can use for future reference. Thanks again.


Brian, rock on!!

It's good you're open to learning (everybody should be). The thing is, somebody in your line of work should have run into Trajan and Gill a hundred times by now.



I have, and that's why it drove me crazy!! I knew that I KNEW the names, I just couldn't get my brain wrapped around it! Funny thing is, once I saw the names of the fonts, I said to myself "Aww, thats it!!!". Even funnier, I obviously had both fonts on my Mac already, I just overlooked them. Needless to say, I guess it was just one those "blank" moments in my brain, and I just couldn't remember the name. Oh well, glad the problem is solved now!

At any rate: No need to go on the defensive because of some snide remark the intention of which isn’t quite clear to me (if we exclude the unpleasant possibility that it was just intended to make its author look clever and you stupid). The Type ID board is there for typeface identification; it’s fine to ask for obscure typefaces to be identified, it’s fine to ask for Arial, Gill Sans or Trajan. This at least is my stance and I’d be happy, just like probably most other members of this community, to help you out next time, regardless of the typeface you need the name of.


Thanks, I greatly appreciate it!

I think it's pretty clear that Nick got miffed that somebody calling himself a "Graphic Designer" cannot recognize Trajan and Gill Sans. Shooting for a high standard (which this really isn't even) is a good thing.


We get it.

But when you say "high standard," you mean for people visiting this board? And if they don't meet your standard, they should be scolded? Or somehow made to feel inferior, or otherwise embarassed?

Who is served by that? Who is helped?

This is not an accrediting body for the practice of typography, graphic design, or anything else. It is a type I.D. board open to all humanity regardless of vocation or level of expertise. The purpose is helping people, not scolding them for asking their question in the first place.

No, just a "high standard" in general, like what you call yourself. Nothing to do with this forum, or even typefaces.

Anyway, focusing on the positive: if Brian takes away an appreciation that type isn't just a side-show in graphic design, then everybody wins.


Oh dear, I only asked a very simple basic question........and look what I've started! What a great "welcome" I get to this forum! LOL j/k Anyways, in all honesty, I think I'll try a little harder next time before I ask another typeface question. :-) Wow oh wow....

Skyfein.....thank you! And everybody else on here who truly HELPED me and not just tried to belittle my lack of knowledge on font types.

“Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.”


It was the initial CAPS job title that slightly irked me.

I'll keep my mouth shut in future. :^\

I certainly hope you don't!

"somebody in your line of work should have run into Trajan and Gill "

To be fair to Brian, it sounds like a lot of his time is spent in the 'sign industry' which I don't really consider to be a part of the design industry.

At least not anymore. Seems that most signage shops put the absolute minimal investment into the actual visual design part of the process and you tend to see a lot of off-brand and knock of type out there. A signage shop using an actual cut of Gill Sans might be rare. ;)

This post was really just an excuse to repost the classic sign rant from Draplin:

"Why America is F*cked"

Also, welcome to the site, Brian. A tip: a little thicker skin can go a long way in here. It's full of mostly good people, albeit highly opinionated good people. ;)

@Brian: “…it was just one those "blank" moments in my brain…”

I like to call those “week-days” ;)

Wow, so where do I start.........

I find it quite strange that YOU call yourself a "Web Designer" yet you can't seem to find the time to develop your very own website! Your link simply takes you to a page which states "I know, I know...not much here. Sorry. I'll get to it soon!" Really? Wow, that is just so professional Darrel, I would want you to design my website once I saw a page like that. It would make me think that you would put plenty of time into my site, ya know, since you put so much time into your very own site!

Now moving forward..........did you push a little button regarding the statement of "sign industry" not being a part of the "design industry". Oh yeah, I guess you did. Let me explain something to you (and all other graphic designers). Throughout my 8+ years in the Sign Industry, I have dealt with TONS of Graphic Designers who know absolutely NOTHING about the signage industry. They can't seem to grasp the fact that their "design" needs to be fabricated into a sign. I'm not talking about little vinyl signs, or "light box" signs like the one shown in the video from Draplin. I'm referring to 3 dimensional Channel Letter signs, Pylon signs, Monument signs, etc. I've seen a lot of great work from designers sending me their clients artwork for their business identification sign, problem is.......their design only looks great on paper, stationary, websites, etc. Their design would look like complete shit trying to fabricate it into 36" letters, with a 1/2" stroke. Just an example. There is so much that goes into "designing" a sign, that your average Graphic Designer does not have a CLUE. There are stroke width requirements, need to fit LED's and conduit throughout the letters. Lets not forget about the fact that the sign needs to be legible from far distances. We've fabricated so many signs according to our clients "Graphic Designers" suggestion. Guess what always seems to happen? Yeah, the customer comes back AFTER fabrication and installation are complete and says "I don't like my sign, I can't even read it from the street" Really?? Did I not TELL YOU that would happen? Again, I've seen a lot of great work from other designers, but a majority of them who know nothing about the sign industry, make for a pretty shitty designer when it comes to the sign industry.

In regards to Draplins comment in the video about "shitty design" with a $15,000 invoice. Let me explain to you: when the sign industry supplies an estimate for a $5,000+ sign, they do not charge for the "design" aspect of it. It's usually included into the cost of permitting, and Engineering. However, let me explain what IS involved in the "design" aspect of the sign:

1. Making sure that your sign meets all city & county code requirements.
2. Making sure your design is legible by cars driving 30mph + past the location.
3. Working with your structural Engineer to make sure the sign will meet all FBC, NEC, and county wind load requirements.
4. KNOWING all the FBC codes in each municipality in which the sign will be installed. (Florida Building Code)
5. Having your crew do a complete survey of the property to determine everything about the structure of the building where the sign will be installed, prior to producing the drawing for the Engineer.
6. Designing all the architectural drawings that are required by the city, and your Engineer.

Let me also add: when "designing" a sign. You can't just design whatever you so choose!!! Yeah, that's part of meeting all "city & county" requirements. EVERY shopping plaza, and most landlords at free standing buildings, have a WRITTEN SIGN CRITERIA for ALL designers to abide by. Some of them call for "block lettering", certain font types, colors, etc. You are usually pretty limited on how "complex" you can make your design.

Trust me obviously have NO IDEA (or Draplin) what is involved when designing a sign.

Let me close with this:
There is a reason WHY I stay very busy in working with multiple sign companies in the South Florida area. I would say it's because I'm an excellent SIGN DESIGNER who has extensive knowledge in the industry, knowledge of ALL the different FBC and Square Footage criterias in the Tri-County area (20+ municipalities). I work with Sign Companies who have their own Graphic Designers, yet......they hire ME to design the Monument Signs, the Channel Letter signs, the Pylon signs, etc. Why? Well, I suppose it's because I have excellent referrals from many customers, and other sign companies. Yeah Darrel, you can see my work all over downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and many more cities in this area.

So, maybe before you say "the sign industry is not part of the design industry" you should know exactly what your talking about, cause apparently you don't.

By the way, I'd be happy to upload some of my completed work. I must say, it's a great feeling when you drive around and see your DESIGNS fabricated into a $5000 Channel Letter sign, or $15000+ Monument or Pylon sign. And the longer I do this, the more often I see my work scattered throughout the area.

Sorry, but as you can definitely "hit a button" with that comment. Now go work on your website! ;-)


Did I insult you? If so, apologies. That was not the intention.

Thicken that skin a bit.

Public apology. Cool.