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Old 04-04-2008, 02:23 PM
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Is there a term for this specific 1930s style font?

During the 1930s, a particular style of font seems to have been fashionable; at least this font is frequently used today if a 1930s-style atmosphere is to be created. It consists of clear, geometrically arranged shapes, does not have serifs, scrolls or curlicues, although it does have a penchant for asymmetry. The best example which I came up on the spot is this sign on a bar in Chicago (a picture from Wiki).

Does this style have any particular name, other than simply being part of the Art Déco movement?
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:32 PM
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FontHaus classifies it as simply "Art Deco":
Old 04-04-2008, 02:40 PM
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It must have a name. It looks imilar to Bernhard Fashion but it's not the same.

Old 04-04-2008, 02:51 PM
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I'm sure the specific font itself has a name. I read the OP as simply asking about that particular style, characteristic of the Art Deco era.
Old 04-04-2008, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailboat
It must have a name. It looks imilar to Bernhard Fashion but it's not the same.

After a long series of questions, Identifont was unable to find anything like the sign in question. It had a guess, but Barnhard Fashion is a lot closer.

Thing is, sign painters can make any ol' shape they want when they're painting a sign; they don't have to stick to one typeface as do printers. With a lot of signs today being photo reproduced, yeah you're going to see a lot of electronic fonts. Algerian is inordinately popular here for business signs. But on a hand-painted sign, anything that looks good can be applied, whether it's a standard typeface or not.
Old 04-04-2008, 05:01 PM
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MAybe I phrased my question ambigously. I wasn't asking (at least that's not what I wanted to ask) about that one font on the picture I linked to; any name for the style of typeface which looks like this will do just fine. I was simply wondering if there is a name for that particular style, other than just Art Déco, which is, as I understand it, a very broad term for an entire movement in architecture and design during that period.

In any case, thanks to everybody here for their efforts!
Old 04-04-2008, 05:12 PM
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I'd still go with Art Déco. Bauhaus is similar in style, although with less flourishes and more sleek.

Here's one from House Industries called Neutraface. It's from the 50s era, but it's similar to that found in the sign.

You could say it's a little Frank Lloyd Wright, too: Taliesin?

Last edited by cmyk; 04-04-2008 at 05:13 PM.
Old 04-04-2008, 05:15 PM
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:26 PM
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I don't have a name for the font, but I wanted to point out that a similar font (notice that the midline on the B and R extends out to the left and also the E with the lower midline) was very common with engraved signs, particularly the font sets that were used with the old pantograph style engraving machines.

On some of the older ferryboats that were used in New Orleans, all of the engraved signage used that font. These boats date back to the 1930s or maybe earlier.
Old 04-04-2008, 07:01 PM
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There are probably several hundred faces that more-or-less match the sign, and it may not even have been created using a font. But yes, the general term would be Art Deco.
Old 04-04-2008, 11:26 PM
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I don't know about the 30s, but the 20s version of it was called "Death Ray."
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:54 AM
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As everyone in this thread has mentioned, it is representive typography from the Art Deco period that reached it's height in the 30's. Beyond that, type like this is an extrapolation from the Geometric Sans Serif classification. Personally, I consider Futura the template for type like this.

Aside: If you want to see some great Deco art direction, rent the Coen Brothers movie "Hudsucker Proxy."

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