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Billiards Font Mystery

Discussion in 'Fonts and Typography' started by Bobby H, May 10, 2007.

  1. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    Usually I am very good at identifying fonts, but I am completely stumped on this one: (image attached; scan of a black and white laser printed page...apologies).

    We're going to have to do some refurbishment work on the existing sign shown in the photo, possibly making new letters and a good amount of new neon.

    At first glance the type looks like some sort of standard square-ish sans-serif font. But nothing seems to match. I've looked at certain weights of Trade Gothic, Akzidenz Grotesk and a good number of others.

    I'm concerned the type may have been significantly customized. That would force us to manually create patterns from the letters, with the best results coming from removing the letters from the building.

    I just wish the customer would simply get a new building sign. It's easier to start fresh than have to rework a bunch of stuff.

    Attached Files:

  2. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

    Mar 7, 2007
    Washington State
    Sorry Bobby, I cant tell you for sure. Right off, Makes me think of a funky little thing some guys (myself included on rare occasions) used back in the '70's to make lettering prints to enlarge with a projector. I think it was called a "Kroll lettering template" or something like that. The letters did not match anything exactly. Those are some days that I sure as hell don't miss. I'm afraid your worst fears will be realized as far as having to match-up and refab some new letters. Best of luck!
  3. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Just thinking out loud here, but what about using a speed press or some sort of frame to hold your pattern paper over the letter and take a rubbing?

  4. jdb

    jdb Active Member

    Apr 26, 2007
    What I've done in the past and it worked very well is to vectorize the jpeg.
    Adjust your brightness and contrast in editing before you vectorize if needed, but since you probably just need a pattern that most likely would'nt be neccesary. You will have to take another picture on a ladder or something so your directly in front, not at any angle.
    Last edited: May 11, 2007
  5. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    looks like 2 differant fonts used and during the time it was made all of this was done by hand from pattern, metal work then neon fitted ...so ya really can't say anyway ..... how much leway ya have redo using a close correct font with spacing like this would be my guess
    freedom is not free
  6. stickerguynyc

    stickerguynyc Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    New York

    you could vectorize it. that picture look ok to vectorize. dragg that picture to flexisign and vectorize it or start to type diferent font that fit in it...

    some letter look like arial with a little of angle ...
  7. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Looks like it predates computers. Thwerefore, not really a font. Craig has the right idea...it came out of someone's head at a drawing board.

    Remove the letters from the building...and if any have to be remanufactured, simply place them on a sheet of paper and trace.
  8. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    Yeah, I agree with the approach of making patterns from the existing letters. We've done that sort of thing in the past. I was just hoping there might be some way to avoid that.

    Unfortunately, the photo suffers from moderate barrel distortion (wide angle lens artifact) and the photo was taken at an angle looking up at the sign. Therefore the photo is useless for vectorizing -especially when the need is there to match existing letters with precision.

    Distortion from perspective is also a hazard even when you can take a straight on shot of a subject. Some of that can be defeated by using a long zoom lens and taking a photo of the subject at a distance (to collapse perspective). Still, you never can get rid of the distortion entirely. And some zoom lenses have problems with pin cushion distortion.

    Looks like we're going to be sending one of our crane trucks down there to do some work.
  9. decals

    decals Member

    Feb 22, 2007
    You could try here: http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ if it doesnt pull up any results that you're happy with, they have a lot of people that will review the font (free) and let you know which one it is.

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