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Font Help Assessing my options

Discussion in 'Fonts and Typography' started by 0x0f, May 19, 2020.

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  1. 0x0f

    0x0f New Member

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    May 18, 2020
    Rovaniemi
    Hi,


    I've been recently tasked with upgrading an old stencil cutting system into the 21st century. I was surprised to see they were running a Windows 98 machine, CASmate and an old Summa plotter. I've managed to set them up hardware wise; a new fast computer, a new Summa, Adobe Illustrator... however, the problem I'm facing is some of the fonts. I was able to buy a few of the fonts they use, but a few key ones I'm completely lost on - I must have spent the entire weekend just browsing the internet trying to figure it out.

    The fonts are listed under CASmate as "CG Century Oldstyle" and "CG Triumvirate" but they're not the same as any font I found online. They look a lot alike, particularly the CG Century Oldstyle versus fonts like Monotype's OS, but the serifs seem different enough that it just can't be used.

    Having spent time looking into it I'm fairly confident these fonts just do not exist online and are CASmate specific, perhaps their versions of known fonts. So I'm hoping someone here might help with what my options are - as far as I see it, either change the font or pay someone to recreate the ones I need? Am I missing something?

    These particular fonts are used to engrave headstones so changing them is very problematic for old stones that already have a name engraved. I've included a picture of both the fonts I'm trying to track down.

    CG Century Oldstyle
    tosm.jpg

    CG Triumvirate
    tesm1.jpg


    Thanks,
    Hermen
     
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  2. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    If they are CASmate specific, your best bet would to have someone get you the entire CAS alphabets, numerals and glyphs (converted to objects) and then set about to converting them to True Type or Open Type fonts.

    Some programs have font generators...a feature that allows you to create fonts from objects. In your case, they would take the CASmate objects and then assign them a place on the keyboard. It's slow and tedious, at least it was with SignLab...perhaps things have changed in the last ten or so years.

    But once you've converted them over, you'll have them to use with just about any program.

    Last, but not least, you may want to check on the legality of it all. I'm thinking that might be infringing on IP if the fonts are proprietary.




    JB
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  3. 0x0f

    0x0f New Member

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    May 18, 2020
    Rovaniemi
    Thank you I appreciate the information.

    It would appear CASmate is long gone and there's no way to purchase another copy of it to try and mess around with the fonts. The old computer is such a mess now, with its hard drive looking like it's giving in, that trying to extract anything from it is nigh impossible. Looks like I'm going to have to try and ask them if they've still got the CASmate installation media somewhere, though I very much doubt it, considering it must be near 20 years old.
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Some history and some suggestions:

    CG is short for Compugraphics Corporation. They were a leader in the mid 20th century in photo typesetting equipment and had a huge library of fonts. Along came Adobe Postscript fonts and the digital fonts that followed and by about 1984 or 1985 Compugraphics was getting left in the dust. They did a deal with Gerber and had a short lived private label Gerber letter cutting system they branded an "Arty". It was a Signmaker 3 with a different colored cabinet and a different label. They ended up going bankrupt. Their entire font library was acquired by Agfa Corporation and Agfa licensed about 300 fonts mostly from the CG library to Scanvec corporation which they included with CasMate.

    Scanvec eventually merged with Amiable Technology into Scanvec-Amiable and they marketed both CasMate and FlexiSign for a while. CasMate evolved from the DOS program it started out as into a Windows version but was ultimately discontinued in favor of FlexiSign and the company rebranded itself into today's SAI.

    Agfa, in the meantime created the Fonts.com website and was eventually merged with or bought out by Monotype.

    In looking at the Fonts.com website, you can still purchase CG Triumvirate in Opentype format for $35.00 per version. It's doubtful that anyone has invested any design time in changing this font from what was licensed to Scanvec. I suspect that you would not need more than one or two of the twenty versions they offer to handle your needs with that font. CG Century Old Style will prove more difficult as it would appear to be discontinued. Still, you have nothing to lose by contacting them about this. They may be willing to pull what you need out of their archives.

    Your best bet, IMO, however, is to salvage the hard drive out of you ancient machine, have it cloned onto a new drive and installed in a working computer to try and run it. Also look for the old installation disks. Guard the old CasMate dongle as well. I've been through this process with my computer guy a few times and he was always able to end up with a good result. Once you have that, just do your typesetting on that machine in CasMate, convert the type to outlines and export out as EPS, then bring it into your new setup. You may even be able to copy the CG fonts out and then install them on your new computer.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  5. john2k20

    john2k20 New Member

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    May 5, 2020
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    casmate my all time favorit program haha worked 15 years with that . it is soooooooo easy . its still way better then most of the standard software that you get with new cutters . . but in the font map arnt they ttf fonts ? if so you can just run the fonts in windows 10 and they get installed i think.
    you also can try flexisign its the succesor of casmate . maybe the fonts are in there
     
  6. 0x0f

    0x0f New Member

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    May 18, 2020
    Rovaniemi
    Thanks, I was confused about who actually owns the fonts nowadays so this was helpful. I've send an email through the fonts.com site asking if I'd be able to purchase this particular font. Fingers crossed on that front.

    Unfortunately the CAS installation media has been lost. I asked about it and they gave me a floppy disk of all things with the forewords: "This might have something to do with it". It's a regular floppy disk, not one with a printed label or anything so I doubt it actually has anything on it. It does list a couple of fonts on the pencil-written label, but they're ones that I was able to find online. In my personal computer, for the past more than 5 years, I haven't had a CD-ROM drive at all - though there's one on my laptop. A floppy disk drive though, I need to strain to even remember what one looks like. I suppose I'll peruse Amazon for a portable floppy disk drive just to be sure. Not like they're a huge investment.


    Thanks I'll need to look into Flexisign.


    --

    Then sort of a tangential question. The engraver has been doing everything by hand for 30 years, and sort of begrudgingly uses CASmate now with the "annoying fonts" (his words). He would certainly be able to draw all the typefaces he uses, so I'm wondering - should all else fail - would it work if I bought a Wacom tablet, for example, and had him draw each character into something like FontForge?


    Appreciate the responses,
    Hermen
     
  7. jimboeejit

    jimboeejit Member

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    Apr 30, 2020
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    this what your looking for?
     

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  8. jimboeejit

    jimboeejit Member

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    Apr 30, 2020
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    and this?
     

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  9. 0x0f

    0x0f New Member

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    May 18, 2020
    Rovaniemi
    Okay I think I cracked this one by accident. I'm not all that familiar with stencil cutters, it's not my area of expertise, so it didn't even cross my mind. In order to try and find the correct font I had them cut me a stencil, then I went home and printed the various Century Oldstyle characters with my Epson inkjet to try and match. They were always somewhat off, the serifs were sharper than in the stencil so I thought it was a different version. It also displayed sharp stencils on my high resolution photo editing monitor, however in the CASmate computer the 90's CRT is probably, what, 480p? Anyway it seems my monitor and inkjet both have higher precision and resolution than the cutter does.

    I had all but given up on this and moved on to testing the newer Summa cutter I got, getting it all setup, and I cut a test stencil with one of the "kind of close but not quite" Century Oldstyle fonts - and the stencil came pretty much identical to what they were getting in the past.
     
  10. jimboeejit

    jimboeejit Member

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    So do you want the fonts as 'outlines' ?
     
  11. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Sandblasting will always "lose" a bit of resolution, especially for deeper cut letters. That is due to the erosion of the stencil...especially with internal sharp corners. The least amount of stencil degradation obviously occurs with shallow "skin cut" lettering.

    I would encourage you to check with the guys at the Monument Lettering Center. Their main emphasis is to bring back some of the more historical typefaces that were once known to the monument industry. Currently, it looks as though they're focusing on typefaces used here in the States, but you may pique their interest toward some of the European typefaces as well. And who knows...they just might be able to get you the digital versions you need.

    Having them in digital form will allow you to easily do some more interesting things such as frosted edge, polished edge and deep-cut outline etching.

    Here's the link for the MLC: https://www.monumentletteringcenter.com/

    Honestly, I love the older style letter forms, and that's where I try to direct my clients if they don't already have a preference. They're timeless and they're "interesting" enough to compliment a simple layout without needing too much embellishment, if any.

    Here's a photo rendering of one we're doing now using the Letterhead Fonts "Jewelo" typeface, giving it an early 1900s look. It's going on a piece of jet black granite 16" x 10".



    JB
     

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    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  12. 0x0f

    0x0f New Member

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    May 18, 2020
    Rovaniemi
    Your CG Century Oldstyle might be that exact font, it's hard to say with the resolution and also not being really an expert in any of this. I'd definitely want to make a test cut with it to see if possible. :)

    I think the Triumvirate is identical to what's listed on Monotype.

    That's interesting, I'll need to bookmark that page, thanks. Luckily, I think most of the fonts they use are either American or English. If they were local I don't think I would be able to find anything at all about them online!
     
  13. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I wonder if you are correct in naming CG Century Oldstyle as the font used for "ANSELM". The "M" in your pic has angled legs which, to the best of my knowledge, is not a design characteristic of the "M" in any version of the Century family of fonts. The "M" has straight vertical legs in any version I can come up with.
     
  14. jimboeejit

    jimboeejit Member

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    ill add the two fonts as a pdf
    it drops into my programs as outlines

    and if its not allowed...sorry
    ill put in font section if requested

    i have all the cas fonts as outlines
     

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  15. monument man

    monument man New Member

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    Sorry, I'm late to the party on this, but I believe the names of those fonts were incorrectly given to you which has caused a lot of the confusion trying to track them down. The top roman font is an old plastic ScotchKut stencil press alphabet called "Modern Roman". There was also a second version that was produced by a German company called Scheibenbogen–however, it differs from the one in your photo. I'm not positive, but I don't believe it was ever in the CASmate software. There is a version of it available in the Monu-Cad software under the name "Bailey 1".

    I'm not sure about the Gothic font, but it is definitely not Triumvirate, and it appears to have been hand-cut. In fact, if you look at the repeated characters closely on the photos you supplied, they both appear to have been cut by hand.
     

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  16. Attila Nagy

    Attila Nagy New Member

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    I still supporting clients who cannot move away from CasMate, and I fully understand them. I have some archive material if someone needs I happy to help.
     
  17. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The two type examples pictured in the original post are not Century Old Style or CG Triumvirate. They're something else. CG Triumvirate is nothing more than a Helvetica clone. The sans example shown looks more like a German DIN typeface. The typeface used in "Anselm" looks like a cross between Albertus and Newtext. It's familiar looking, but I can't place it just off hand.

    Regarding still functional copies of CASmate, I don't know if SAi will take any old CASmate parallel port dongles in trade for discounted pricing on Flexi. Old SCF CASfonts will still work in Flexi; there is a sub-folder for such fonts. But you need to have the old font packages from CASmate. Some of the old fonts were carried over to Flexi in TrueType format.

    Personally, I started moving away from using the bundled fonts in CASmate and Flexi back in the late 1990's and eventually began doing all my sign design work within CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator (among other apps such as Freehand). The built-in kerning on many of those CASmate and Flexi fonts was just terrible. I found it easier to just do all the type work in the mainstream design applications and then export EPS files into CASmate or Flexi. The differences in type handling are even more stark today. The latest versions of CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator can utilize Variable Fonts. IIRC most "CAS" apps, including Flexi, still don't support all the features of OpenType.
     
  18. focadima

    focadima New Member

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    Posen, IL
    Casmate :) still use it to pounce patterns
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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