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LBSC Running-In Boards - Type-faces

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Does any member of this august body have any information on the correct type-face for these?  Preferably something that is available in 'CorelDraw' etc?

 

Any help given will be gratefully acknowledged!

 

Kindest Regards

 

Ian

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I have a fair amount of information regarding LBSC running-in boards I will PM you copies of it all.

 

Gary

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I'm fairly sure the LBSC had their own typeface and that it was a great inspiration to Eric Gill who frequently saw it during his formative years. Eric Gill, of course designed the classic sans serif font that bears his name and that was commissioned by the LNER.

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I take it you are talking about the running-in boards with separate cast letters, usually painted white on a dark background, not the elaborate sign-written shaded ones used earlier.  No exact match in current typefaces has been found yet, Clarendon Bold, as used by Scalelink in their very useful etched alphabet, is the best I have found, although Bembo has a better match for the serif used, but some of its letters are wildly different from those the LBSC used. Egyptian fonts, of which there are many variants, were popular at the time and might yield a better match. Signal box signboards were sans-serif, and possibly Arial would pass muster there.

I would like to know more about Anglian's theory regarding Eric Gill - was he brought up in south London?

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I take it you are talking about the running-in boards with separate cast letters, usually painted white on a dark background, not the elaborate sign-written shaded ones used earlier.  No exact match in current typefaces has been found yet, Clarendon Bold, as used by Scalelink in their very useful etched alphabet, is the best I have found, although Bembo has a better match for the serif used, but some of its letters are wildly different from those the LBSC used. Egyptian fonts, of which there are many variants, were popular at the time and might yield a better match. Signal box signboards were sans-serif, and possibly Arial would pass muster there.

I would like to know more about Anglian's theory regarding Eric Gill - was he brought up in south London?

No, the City of Brighton & Hove claims him as one of its own. A brief history can be found on the B&H Buses website, as they have named one of their buses after him. Sorry to use the word 'bus' in this forum - but as the railways are failing us around here on the south coast, they are growing in favour. http://history.buses.co.uk/history/fleethist/663eg.htm

Edited by phil_sutters

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Gill Sans was commissioned by Monotype in the late 1920s and is regarded by many as a copy of Edward Johnson's Railway Type, which was commissioned by London Underground before the Great War. There are all sorts of stories about how Eric Gill came to the design but many think that he was employed as a kind of fig leaf to cover up Monotype's copy of Johnson's design, which was copyrighted.

 

Gill Sans became hugely popular in Britain, it was used by the LNER, by Penguin Books, on factory notices everywhere and is still used for titling by the BBC.

 

What the London Underground typeface and Gill Sans have in common is their humanistic proportions - the same proportions as classic book typefaces like Garamond. Essentially, they are like a classic serif typeface with the serifs taken off. Most sans serif typefaces before this had very different, rather boxy, proportions known as 'gothic' in the US and 'grotesque' in Europe.

 

The LBSCR lettering is just that - lettering - and not a proper typeface. Looking at photos I agree that Arial is a reasonable likeness. Keep away from Helvetica which has a very peculiar capital 'R'. Akzidenz Grotesk is another interesting one, it was used by Swiss railways and resembles much of the lettering of this era.

 

Sorry to be so pedantic but I am a bit of a type-oholic. ( I have a huge collection of fonts  :secret: )

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Simon,

You're far better read than I am on the subject but I'm sure that quite a big fan-fare was made by the LNER of their use of Gill and that he was photographed at Kings Cross unveiling the use of the font – or an I imagining that as well? It's quite possible.

 

Gill was brought up in Brighton for the first few years of his life before moving to Chichester hence his exposure to the LBSC lettering. I'm sure I've read that the LBSC sans serif was a source of inspiration to him.

 

Arial is Microsoft's poor (sloppy) copy of Helvetica. The latter always looks more precise to my eyes at least. Here's a short article…

 

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2013/03/arial-vs-helvetica-can-you-spot-the-difference/

 

 

Ian,

Can you provide a link to a decent image of an LBSC running-in board that you want a good match to?

Edited by Anglian
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Does any member of this august body have any information on the correct type-face for these?  Preferably something that is available in 'CorelDraw' etc?

 

Any help given will be gratefully acknowledged!

 

Kindest Regards

 

Ian

If you have some photos of the originals its not that difficult to generate a typeface using software such as "Fontcreator".

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