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another ID please

Second of two posts...

Dear All (again!),

I'm looking for suggestions of popular US fonts circa 1948...and also an ID please of the attached font or similar!

Really appreciate your thoughts!

Many thanks,



Looks like Nick Curtis' Smith Premier NF

- Herb

Looks very close indeed, though differing heights of 'l' and 'k' , the 'g' and in particular the position of the horizontal 'bar' in the 'e' aren't quite there.

The text was taken from the film of the same name released in 1948 if that's any further help. Possible custom font?

Thanks again!

Any lettering from the titles of a film from that era is 99% likely to be hand-lettered, although of course sometimes based or modelled on commercial typefaces.

Any particular type of fonts used in ’48 that you’re interested in, or just any fonts commonly used at the time?

Thank you for the response Grafenburg.

In answer to your question, I'm interested in US fonts in common use in 1948 and more specific ones! (Please excuse the long explanation below...)

My focus on '48 is that it dates the coining of the word 'beat' by Kerouac and thus the start if the 'beat' movement. (Not to be confused with the later manufactured, madison avenue 'beatnik' trends of the mid 50's to early 60's!). Thus, early fifties fonts would also work I think.

I'm looking to put selected phrases/words used by Kerouac/Burroughs/ Ginsberg etc into typefaces that fit the period/style. I selected the above 'he walked at night' font as these gents used typewriters but I'm interested in other serifed/ stylized fonts too!

Have established that 'palatino' was created in '48 but that's about as far as I've got so any other suggestions/ thoughts would be very gratefully received!

Thanks in advance for your help


I think more fruitful than sticking to a strict date range (which would only really click with type aficionados) would be finding fonts that convey the right feeling no matter when they were made.


I’d definitely agree with hrant that it’s more important to embody the era than to strictly stick to fonts from that time.

Many fonts look back, some look forwards. As a result many that were in use at the time won’t convey the era to the modern viewer, no matter how true they actually are to it.

Fair points. Am still hopeful of achieving the look of the 'generation' whilst not being anachronistic. However, I do most definitely agree with you that font 'date' is far less important than the right 'feeling'. A nice date would be the icing on the cake though!

Thanks for the feedback. Will drop a question on the design forum and see what comes up...

The Smith Premier typeface predates the Beat era by several decades: the letterforms I used to create my font were from the 1923 ATF specimen book. However, once upon a time, things didn’t become obsolete or fall out of fashion quite as quickly as they do today…