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Font/Typography Identification and Resources

Discussion in 'Logos - Decals - Graphics' started by SimDesigners, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. SimDesigners

    SimDesigners Well-Known Member

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    Seems like folks here are always looking to have fonts identified, so rather than repeating all of this on each post, I would like to create a "mega post" of resources I know of that can help you identify fonts.

    Before I get into the list, it should be said that there are literally millions of fonts out there, and many are slight variations of other existing fonts (look up Akzidenz-Grotsek, Helvetica, Univers, and Arial if you want to have fun). Also from experience, designers like to customize fonts for specific applications.

    With that said, I'm breaking down this post a little. We'll start off with commonly used fonts and go into identification tools.

    Since piracy is very common in the world of typography, I am linking you guys to places where you can buy the fonts. Yes, some can be very expensive. Another thing to note, is that foundries (the technical term for places that make fonts) in later years have often released their own variation of classic typefaces, and that there are minute differences between their version and a competitors.

    Also bear in mind, that typefaces can come in many alterations, shapes, weights, and sizes. In addition to Regular, Italic, and Bold, you can also find condensed versions, extended versions, demi bolds, black, lights, and extra light weights to name a few.

    Sans Serifs
    A sans serif font usually lacks the little "feet" at the ends of letters like i, t, l, and so forth. The most common of all sans serifs has been Helvetica for many years, showing up in famous logos like American Airlines, Target, and Energizer.

    A serif font usually has the little "feet" at the ends of letters like i, t, l, and so forth. The most common include Century Schoolbook, which many of you unknowingly used to learn to read children's books. Others include Bodoni, Garamond, and Times New Roman.


    • What the Font - This is my preferred font ID site. You can upload an image (pro-tip: make it solid black and solid white if you can, and darken out any irrelevant details) and the site will do its best to find a matching font.
    • Identifont - If your image isn't of good quality, Identifont uses more of a question/answer system to narrow down the possibilities. Works best if you have a good selection of letters and characters to work from.
    • Bowfin - Another Q&A identifier, like Identifont.
    • TypeNavigator - Yet another good Q&A identifier.
    • What Font Is - Great new ID site that allows you to upload an image and search through paid and/or free font options.

    So hopefully this helps a few people out. Please feel free to add more resources as you find them!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
    20 people like this.
  2. WALZ

    WALZ Retired

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    Great post Dan! Stickied.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Henderson

    Henderson Graphic Designer

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    Don't normally play around with fonts, but this is incredibly helpful for those that do. Nice job Dan!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Chevellion

    Chevellion Former SRD Cup League Director

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    Nice post, though I find that WTF rarely links me to any appropriate fonts. Haven't tried Identifont yet though...guess I'll give that one a try next time.
  5. SimDesigners

    SimDesigners Well-Known Member

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    What Font is

    New font ID site. You can upload images like What the Font.
  6. Xtremeracing

    Xtremeracing New Member

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    after trying all the tips here i still can not figure out what font is used for the HScott Motorsports cars. i have quite a few i need to do for my K&N set and having some issues. any and all help would be awesome :)
  7. Sage

    Sage Cranky Old fart

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    Quite possibly because not everything out there is a font/typeface. Before the advent of computers & digital typefaces almost all type was set in metal. Type foundries were called that for a reason...they were actual foundries! The introduction of the Linotype machine (look it up ~ they're a hoot) and rub-on 'instant lettering' began to change that. But again, not everything in the world is a simple matter of download this font and click these numbers and...bing, bang, boom...you're done.

    In the case of the HScott Motorsports cars, I'd venture that the numbers were custom designed, either an in-house or an outsourced design studio. If you are just after the numbers that HScott uses (5, 9, 34, 51, 98) I'm sure that they are readily available at places like MasGrafix, BER, Turn4, etc. Or try finding large enough images (high res - 300dpi - doesn't really exist all that much on the internet, most of it is 72dpi) and trace around them. If you are after numbers other than those, then you may have to find enough of the number set in images (it appears that the only two numbers they don't use are 7 & 0) and create your own.
    Alan Harkleroad likes this.
  8. Alan Harkleroad

    Alan Harkleroad SRD Site Administrator Admin

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    Yep same applies for Oakley, Jack Daniels and several other companies. They are all in house fonts designed for them by studios and are not publicly available. For the large amount of fonts available, there are tons that do not go into public purchasable sector because they are the identity of the company they represent.
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