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#226429 - 12/03/08 1:27 am Smiths speedometer font?  
Joined: Mar 2007
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Swan Offline
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Swan  Offline

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Winona, MN
Can any of the graphics people suggest a font style to match classic Smiths chronometric speedometers and tachometers? I am having trouble finding a matching font, particularly with the numbers.

I want to work up a set in Illustrator and put them on my new Smiths 1970's style knock offs to make them look cooler and more period correct for my Triton.





Last edited by Swan; 12/03/08 1:51 am.

1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
#226704 - 12/05/08 1:41 am Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Swan]  
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Gunk Offline
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43.34 (4320') | -79.81 (-794...
It's very close to a font family called "highway gothic"


"he who laughs fast, laughs first"~Gunk
#226861 - 12/06/08 2:41 am Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Gunk]  
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Swan Offline
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Thanks Gunk close, but no cigar... I have searched thousands of fonts but have not found a match. I posted on myfonts.com, but nothing yet.

I may have to use a font designer program and make them myself (like everything else in on aTriton...)


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
#226866 - 12/06/08 3:08 am Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Swan]  
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gahi Offline
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Moab, UT
my first thought was one of the highway series fonts too.


1957 BSA A7 - gone.
1968 BSA A65 Hardtail
1971 Commando
1977 XS650
#226912 - 12/06/08 5:33 pm Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: gahi]  
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Swan, Cool project. I think a lot of forum members could use your work. I did the same thing with my new amp meter face so it would look the way it did on the original.

Back in the day the gauge face art would have been hand drawn by a lettering artist or draftsman and he may have borrowed from several different fonts to get this look. (Take a look at the '3' above, it is smaller in height than the other numerals.) I think the posts above are on the right track suggesting a "gothic" style font. I thought it might be based on the old "News Gothic" or "Trade Gothic" which were more period type faces. Take a look at "Golden Age" which is a new version combining some characteristics of the old type face. The face art would have been drawn and inked at a larger size and photo reduced to make a film positive to fit the plate size. That film positive would then be used to make a silk screen mask. The printing appears to be silk screened with the characteristic rounding off of the squarish corners. This was way before pad printing. If you take the time to do a careful Gunk-style Illustrator file from a high-rez scan you can build a very good digital file that can be used to cut a mask or to make a film positive for silk screening. Send me a personal email if you want this one of an early 60's Chronometric. Smiths had lots of model numbers and you can build a 1 through 9 and use them to create model numbers. Better art to scan for the "Smiths" logo might be found in their printed literature.

Good luck.

Gib


#226936 - 12/06/08 8:19 pm Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: gibgo12]  
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Gunk Offline
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43.34 (4320') | -79.81 (-794...
I was thinking Leroy letter-guide lettering.
Same process.
I've looked at about 1000 fonts. You could make it out of bits and pieces of a few.
Here's one that's pretty good except for the 1 and 7

ITC Conduit Medium
http://www.fonts.com/findfonts/detail.asp?pid=204778


"he who laughs fast, laughs first"~Gunk
#227009 - 12/07/08 2:23 pm Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Gunk]  
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Swan Offline
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Winona, MN
Gahi, Gib and Gunk,

Thanks for the input and suggestions. I am still digging for fonts and may have to tweek an existing font. ITC conduit medium is very close.

I do plan to silkscreen them and am going to experiment with a white glow-in-the-dark ink for better illumination at night. Free time is rare for me but I will post my results as I get to them so other can use the font and information.


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
#227340 - 12/09/08 7:18 pm Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Swan]  
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Swan Offline
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Gib,

I sent you a PM. Yes, I'll talk a copies of the scans you posted above.

Thanks,

Swan


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
#227583 - 12/11/08 1:07 am Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Swan]  
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M21 Offline
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Mass
Interesting thread. It overlaps a bit with a project I have.

Do you really need a font? Why not just scan some faces, blow them up in the computer and clean them up, then just cut and paste the numbers and letters as necessary? Then you get genuine Smiths, no approximation.

Fonts are funny. You can think you have a near perfect match, then use it - and have it stand out like a sore thumb. Worth the work to get it perfect.

BTW if anyone has one, I am looking for a good hi-rez scan of a 180 kph face, preferably the early one with the "SMITHS" lettering arched at the bottom.

#227591 - 12/11/08 1:57 am Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: M21]  
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Swan Offline
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Winona, MN
My goal is to put classic 1950's style Smith chronometric faces on 1970's Smiths T140 clocks which are smaller and have different cutouts for the odometer and trip counter. Rather than cut and paste, I want to lay it out in Adobe Illustrator to fit my current clocks perfectly. I am going to silk screen them with white glow-in-the dark ink. Classic look, new internals with a custom twist.

I am getting closer with the font (coolvetica/helvetica family and tweeking the number"1") and member Gib is hooking me up with a high res scan. Stay tuned....


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville
#229402 - 12/23/08 3:42 pm Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: Swan]  
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M21 Offline
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Mass
Any luck on this project? Did you ever get the hi rez scans?

My project hit a major roadblock when I finally got around to dismantling the old tach I was going to use as a test monkey and found the face was not flat, but recessed, with a raised fim around it, so it would be almost impossible to screen. So I am considering either decals or making a thin metal face to go over the stock one. I know Nisongers will rescreen faces, it. I'll have to see if I can find out how they do it.

Originally Posted By: Swan
My goal is to put classic 1950's style Smith chronometric faces on 1970's Smiths T140 clocks which are smaller and have different cutouts for the odometer and trip counter. Rather than cut and paste, I want to lay it out in Adobe Illustrator to fit my current clocks perfectly. I am going to silk screen them with white glow-in-the dark ink. Classic look, new internals with a custom twist.

I am getting closer with the font (coolvetica/helvetica family and tweeking the number"1") and member Gib is hooking me up with a high res scan. Stay tuned....

#229804 - 12/26/08 8:17 pm Re: Smiths speedometer font? [Re: M21]  
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Swan Offline
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Swan  Offline

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Winona, MN
Gib thank you! I owe you some drinks.

Got the disc but now I need to find some free time to work this up, stay tuned...


1966 Triton
1962 BSA DBD34 Gold Star
1966 Triumph Bonneville

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